Fatal auto accidents and children

Fatal motor vehicle accidents involving children under 15 vary widely state by state, according to study by Harvard and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Researchers were the first to look at state-level trends while accounting for differences in geography and state laws.

Overall results show approximately 16 percent of children died in fatal collisions from 2010 to 2014 for a total of 2,885 children. The number represents a mortality rate of .94 per 100,000 per year.

Specific results by geography include:

  • The South saw the highest number of deadly accidents with1,550 children killed in fatal wrecks for a mortality rate of 1.34 per 100,000 children annually.
  • The Northeast was ranked as safest with 189 child fatalities and a mortality rate of .38 per 100,000 per year.
  • The Midwest saw 585 child fatalities, a mortality rate of .89 per 100,000 children annually.
  • The West had 561 child fatalities with a mortality rate of .76 per 100,000 per year
  • Texas had the most child fatalities at 346 while Rhode Island had the least at three.

Additional breakdowns show the following:

  • Sixty-two percent of crashes were on rural roads and 35 percent on state highways
  • Twenty percent of children were improperly restrained or unrestrained with 13 percent inappropriately seated in the front
  • Nine percent of drivers were under the influence
  • The fewest fatalities occurred in vans and minivans
  • The majority of collisions occurred between 45 and 60 miles per hour

State laws and regulations play a key role in preventing children from dying in motor vehicle accidents. The study claims that saving lives would require significant revisions of weak regulations and improvement in enforcement.

According to the researchers, increasing proper use of seatbelts and car seats by 10 percent would reduce deaths by more than 230 children annually or more than 1,100 over five years. That equals 40 percent of the deaths from 2010 to 2014.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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