Understanding Why Traffic Crashes a Leading Cause of Death in Children
Every day in the United States, children are killed in traffic crashes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that 608 children who were 12 years old or younger died in motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
Traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages five to 14, and most of these fatalities occur in passenger vehicles. In addition to the hundreds killed each year due to these accidents, more than 91,000 children are also injured yearly.
So what are the main causes that lead to child death in traffic accidents?
Not Using the Proper Restraints
One of the main reasons why traffic accidents are so deadly for children is that they are often not properly restrained. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), less than half of all children under the age of 12 killed in traffic crashes in 2017 were properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat. Of those properly restrained, many were not using the correct type of child safety seat for their age and size.
Child Pedestrian & Bicycle Accidents
Another reason traffic crashes are so dangerous for kids is that they can be hit by vehicles while walking or biking. The NHTSA found that in 2017, nearly one-fifth of all child pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were between the ages of five and nine. Additionally, boys accounted for nearly two-thirds of all child pedestrian fatalities.
School Bus Accidents
With most children back at school, bus crashes will also increase. School buses are considered safer than traditional vehicles as buses are larger and have a larger surface area to absorb any impact. However, if a child does find themself in a school bus accident, there are some concepts they can keep in mind.
Most Connecticut school buses do not have seatbelts. As matter of fact, only a handful of states in the U.S. require students to wear seatbelts on school buses, and Connecticut is not one of them.
Tips Your Child Should Know if They Are in a Bus Accident
Therefore, parents should talk to their children about listening to a bus driver’s instructions should an accident occur. Even though the situation will most likely be terrifying for the student, they should remain calm and listen to instructions to safely get off the bus.
Another tip is to have children wear reflective gear on their backpacks or elsewhere. That way if an accident were to occur, the child would be seen easier by the bus driver or others.
Preventive Measures You Can Take to Protect Your Child from Fatal Traffic Accidents
So, what can parents do to keep their kids safe on the road? The first step is to make sure they are properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their age and size. This information can be found by talking to the child’s pediatrician or going to Connecticut’s Department of Public Health website.
Parents should also teach their children about traffic safety and how to stay safe when walking or biking near traffic.
- Looking at both sides of traffic multiple times before crossing a street
- Staying on the crosswalk before going across the street
- And, if no crosswalk is available, crossing safely at an intersection rather than the middle of the road
Additionally, children should remain on sidewalks at all times. If one is unavailable, children should give themselves a significant distance between themselves and the road.
Finally, parents can model good safety habits while driving. That is why wearing a seatbelt is critical; plus, it’s the law. Parents who always wear their seatbelts are showcasing a good habit that can last children a lifetime.
Connecticut’s Car Accident Lawyers at RisCassi & Davis, P.C.
By following the above-listed tips, parents can help keep their children safe on the road and avoid becoming a statistic. If you or your child were injured in a car accident, you need the best legal representation for your case. The dedicated Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis, P.C. are ready to work for you and get you the justice you deserve.