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Prevention of Child Passenger Injury

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer,When it comes to child passenger car accident and injury, the stakes are high for everyone involved. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, or simply a neighbor helping transport a friend’s child for an afternoon errand, driving with a child passenger is a serious responsibility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car collision injuries are one of the biggest leading causes of childhood death in the United States, and sadly, many of these deaths are preventable. In the year 2015 alone, nearly 700 children ages 12 years and younger died as automobile occupants, and an overwhelming portion of those children were not restrained in a child safety or booster seat and were not wearing seatbelts.

How to Help Prevent Child Passenger Injury and Fatality on the Roadways

Despite these disheartening statistics, a silver lining exists: Every driver has the power to play a role in the prevention of child passenger accident and injury. Knowledge is power, however, which means the better informed you are, the more effective you can be within your community and in your own home. Here are three ways you can equip yourself to be an advocate for child passenger safety:

  1. Learn the facts - Learning the scope of the dangers that surround child passengers helps familiarize you with the most basic challenges motorists face on a day-to-day basis. For example, did you know that one of the biggest reasons child passengers experience serious injury and fatality in car crashes is because they are not buckled up? One study reported by the CDC found that the rate of children passengers who sustained fatal or severely incapacitating injuries actually decreased by 17 percent when the age requirement for the use of booster seats was raised across 5 different states. In general, a significant portion of studies done on child passenger injuries and death have a common thread: Nearly all of them revolve around the neglect of proper restraints.
  2. Learn the restraint stages - Once you are aware of the leading cause of child car collision incidences, you can work to reduce the problem. The first step is to make sure you learn the standard restraint stages. The stages are outlined in terms of age, height, and weight. Newborns and children up to 2-years-old should be placed in a rear-facing car seat, while children ages 5 and up should ride in a booster seat until the seat belt fits them properly. Children ages 2 to 5 are required to ride in a forward-facing car seat. These differences account for a child’s body and brain development, and how such factors interact with the distribution of crash forces.
  3. Know the risks - When you understand which children passengers are at risk and why some are at greater risk than others, you can do your part to help minimize those dangers. For starters, the CDC tells us that older children (ages 8 to 12) are less likely to buckle up compared to younger children, and are consequently injured more often. Studies also show that children pay attention to the driver behind the wheel; the less an adult driver buckles up, the less the child passenger buckles up. Not surprisingly, children who travel with intoxicated drivers experience greater risk of injury and fatality, and kids who are restrained incorrectly are at increased risk.

When Child Passenger Collision Happens to You

Understanding how to properly buckle and restrain a child passenger can go a long way in the prevention of injury and death. So can setting an example by buckling up yourself and avoiding any substances that may impair your driving capabilities. Even after informing yourself and applying basic safety practices when interacting with child passengers, accidents can still happen. If you have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a collision with a child in your car, it is imperative you speak with a competent Lake County car accident attorney right away. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 for a special consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/passengersafety/index.html
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