Driving can be dangerous, but proper restraints can help decrease some risks.

Study Shows Proper Use of Restraints Can Reduce Child Fatalities in Car Accidents

As parents, we want to keep our kids safe. Yet many of us participate in an activity every single day that could put our children in grave danger. So what is this activity — and how can we make it safer and reduce the risk to our children?

As you may have guessed, the dangerous activity that most parents engage in on a daily basis is driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 0 and 19 years of age is motor vehicle accidents. Driving our children to school, daycare, sports, and other activities can be one of the riskiest things we do with our children, which makes it all the more important that we learn as much as possible about how to keep them safe.

Recently, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Harvard teamed up to study child fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. They looked at data on fatalities between 2010 and 2014. In that time frame, a total of 2,885 children under the age of 15 died in car accidents, with more child fatalities (1,550) occurring in the South than in any other region. The Northeast had the fewest fatalities during the same time period, with just 189 deaths.

The study also looked at the types of vehicles that were the least likely to be involved in car accidents. Vans and minivans had the fewest fatalities of any type of vehicle on the road. While you may be reluctant to give up your sporty car for a minivan, if it helps to keep your children safe, it may be something to consider.

According to the study, most accidents (over 60%) occurred on rural roads, while an additional 35% happened on state highways. In 9% of fatal accidents involving children, a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. As experienced car accident attorneys, we have seen the results of car accidents involving drugged or drunk drivers — and urge everyone to never drive under the influence.

The study also found that one of the best ways to reduce the risk of child fatalities in car accidents was the proper use of restraints, such as seat belts, booster seats and car seats. Approximately 20% of the children killed in the car accidents studied were not properly restrained, with an additional 13% improperly seated in the front of the car. The consistent enforcement of state laws and regulations regarding child restraints can play an important role in reducing child accident fatalities.

Car accidents can happen for any number of reasons, from distracted drivers to drunk drivers to simple inattention. For parents, keeping kids safe should be a top priority. To do so, start by making sure that your kids are always properly restrained in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat, and that they are sitting in the back of the car. Next, make sure you are always paying full attention and driving defensively, staying alert to other drivers on the road. You may not be able to prevent all accidents — but you can do your best to avoid as many as possible by taking these steps.

At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are dedicated to helping victims of all types of accidents, including car collisions. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!