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Reducing child fatality rates in motor vehicle accidents


Reducing child fatality rates in motor vehicle accidents

South Carolina parents may be able to save the lives of their children if they restrain them properly when in vehicles. A study that appeared in the “Journal of Pediatrics” found that a 10 percent increase in correct use of restraints could lower the fatality rate for children in car accidents by more than 230 children nationwide each year. This represents about 40 percent of the 2,885 children who died in traffic accidents in the years that the study covered, 2010 to 2014.

The study was the first to examine child traffic fatalities by state, and it found that the South had the highest number with 1,550 deaths over the period. There were 585 deaths in the Midwest, 561 in the West, and 189 in the Northeast.

In 9 percent of the fatal accidents, a driver was under the influence. One in five children who died was improperly restrained. Most of the crashes happened on rural roads, and most vehicles were traveling 45 to 60 mph at the time of the accident. According to one of the researchers, the study shows that consistent enforcement of state laws and regulations can save lives. The researcher suggested rewriting weaker regulations.

Car accidents may occur because a driver is drowsy or careless or for a number of other reasons. An accident that is not fatal may still lead to serious injuries. A person who is injured in an accident in which the other driver is at fault may assume that insurance will cover the costs of the accident including medical bills and repairing or replacing the vehicle. However, the situation might be more complex. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the insurance company, or it might be necessary to file a lawsuit.