Motor Vehicle Crashes Remain The Leading Cause Of Death In Children
“Every hour, nearly 150 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. More children ages 5-19 die from crash-related injuries than from any other type of injury.”
As personal injury attorneys, we see many car accident cases. Without a doubt, some of the most tragic are the ones involving children. A recent report put some sobering numbers on the state of child motor vehicle safety and what parents can do about it.
Based on a 2011 NHTSA report (the most recent data available), nearly 2 children under 13 were killed and 338 injured per day while riding in motor vehicles. While the law in Texas mandates minimum safety requirements, many organizations concerned with child safety such as the NHTSA, the Texas DPS and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend taking further steps to ensure the safety of your children.
Currently, under Texas law, all drivers and passengers are required to be properly wearing their safety belt, in both the front seat and the back seat. Children under 8 are required to be in a child safety seat or booster seat installed and operated following manufacturer instructions. Failure to follow the law is a misdemeanor, and can currently result in a fine of up to $250. However, The NHTSA recommends you observe the following additional safety tips in regard to safety seats:
- Make sure your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size.
- 14% of 1-3 year olds are put in booster seats or seat belts too soon.
- 25% of 4-7 year olds are put in seat belts too soon.
- Be sure to read and follow the instructions and labels that come with your child’s seat and read the manual for important information on installing the seat in your particular vehicle;
- Go to a local car seat inspection station to have your seat checked by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. (Currently, there is one right here in Corpus Christi. )
- Use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system or seat belt to install your car seat and use the top tether to secure forward-facing car seats.
- Set a good example for your children by always wearing your own seat belt.
- Children are our most precious cargo. We should do everything we can to protect them. While we pray that you never are involved in an accident where your child is injured, if the worst should happen, we can help.
Stay informed about recalls of child safety equipment. Register your car seat and booster seat at SaferCar.gov.
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