According to a report recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of children who died in automobile accidents dropped from 2002 to 2011.
While this is certainly good news, automobile accidents are still the leading cause of death for children in the United States. The report indicated that much more could be done to prevent these deaths.
The CDC says that 9,000 children died in vehicle-related accidents from 2002 to 2011. Although that is still high, it represents a 43 percent decrease in death rates for children aged 0 to 12 years old since 2002.
Despite the overall decrease, CDC researchers found that more than one-third of children who died in automobile accidents in that time period were unrestrained – meaning they weren’t wearing a seat belt or were not in a booster or car seat. The proportion of deaths attributed to unrestrained children in vehicles only fell 24 percent in that time. Among the youngest unrestrained children (aged 1 to 3 years), the decrease was even less pronounced at 18 percent.
African American and Hispanic children who were unrestrained in vehicles faced even more danger. The study found that some 50 percent of vehicle-related deaths of children in those minority groups could be attributed to lack of restraints. The death rate was only 24 percent among unrestrained white children.
CDC researchers recommended that states implement child-restraint laws that would require children up to eight years old to use booster seats. The study also recommended that child safety seats be distributed in low-income areas.
The automobile accident attorneys at Farah & Farah in Gainesville are heartened that children’s deaths in vehicle-related accidents has gone down. Obviously, there is much more that can be done to reduce these senseless and tragic deaths.
Please take responsibility in keeping your children safe. Make sure they are properly restrained in your automobile.