Any parent who has ever driven a vehicle with a child as a passenger understands that this can be a somewhat stressful experience. Gone are the days before we were parents when we would not worry about speeding through a yellow light or exceeding the speed limit because we were in a hurry. These days, parents constantly think about the safety of their children, and perhaps never more so than when we get behind the wheel of a vehicle. We tend to take every precaution possible in order to minimize the chance that something goes wrong. It seems that this attitude towards driving children has made a positive difference in recent years, at least according to a report that was recently published by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC. The report, which can be found here, presents some good news in that the number of children killed in car accidents in the United States is dropping. Despite that positive trend, the report also reveals that there are still too many young people losing their lives because of these crashes. The CDC analyzed data regarding children who were 12 years old or younger who were killed in car accidents in the United States between the years of 2002 and 2011. The agency found the following:
- During this timeframe, the number of children killed in car accidents dropped by a factor of 43 percent.
- Despite that trend, more than 9,000 children died in car accidents during those years.
- Approximately one-third of those children who were killed were not properly buckled or secured inside of their vehicles.
The CDC seems to believe that the biggest problem with child safety in vehicles is that which involves their car seats or the use of seatbelts. The report provided additional details regarding the safety of these security measures, including:
- Car seats reduce the risk of death to infants less than one year old by a factor of 71 percent.
- Car seats reduce the risk of death to toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4 by a factor of 54 percent.
- Booster seats for children between the ages of 4 and 8 reduce the risk for serious injury by 45 percent when compared with seatbelts.
- Seatbelt use for children between the ages of 8 and 12 reduces the risk of death by approximately 50 percent.
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The message should be clear – if you drive with a child, continue to use caution, but make sure that he or she is properly secured in the vehicle. It could make the difference between life and death. If you or a child has been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you need to take action to protect your legal rights. You can do so by contacting the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.