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Child Fatalities in Car Accidents Linked to Restraint Use

The car seat restraits

If you’re a parent, you do your best to keep your child safe at all times, especially when riding in the car. However, there are times where the demands of everyday life can cause you to set safety concerns aside in favor of getting where you need to go fast. Recent research shows that failing to prioritize using safe restraints for child passengers is strongly linked to fatalities in motor vehicle accidents.

Study looks at factors commonly involved in fatal accidents

Statistics have long shown that motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of accidental child deaths. One group of medical researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston sought to examine the factors most often present in accidents resulting in a child fatality. The researchers studied data from over 18,000 fatal accidents involving children under 15 gathered by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System between 2010 and 2014. Among those accidents, 16% caused the death of a child. The researchers compared the accidents based on various factors, including the types of vehicles in which the children were riding, the type of road on which the collision occurred, and the types of restraints used on the children.

The researchers found that, among all 18,000+ accidents studied, 20% of the children involved were either not restrained at all or were not properly restrained at the time of the crash. However, in a staggering 43% of accidents that caused a child to be fatally injured, that child was either not restrained at all or not properly restrained when the crash occurred. In an additional 13% of all crashes causing the death of a child, the child was improperly seated in the front of the car.

Virginia law mandates that all children under the age of eight ride in a child restraint device, regardless of their size. Drivers with a child passenger who is not properly restrained can be pulled over and issued a $50 penalty. That said, if a child somehow escapes from the restraint device, or a device malfunctions, resulting in the child not being properly restrained at the time of a crash, the victim may still have a valid claim for money damages against the at-fault driver. The factual and legal issues in this type of case can be especially complex, so be sure and speak with a skilled Virginia personal injury lawyer if you or your child are injured in such a crash.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of an auto accident in Virginia, contact the knowledgeable and effective Charlottesville personal injury attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz at 434-977-7977.

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