A new government report is showing that fewer children are dying in car accidents.
According to a CBS News report, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shows that over the last 10 years, child traffic accident deaths declined by 43 percent. Health officials say the use of car seats and booster seats drove this decline.
However, sadly, one-third of the children 12 and under who died in 2011 were not buckled up. The CDC report focused on crash deaths of children 12 and under and covered 2002 through 2011 when traffic deaths overall declined to levels not seen since the 1940s.
Child Crash Deaths
Young children, traditionally, have been only a small fraction of the total traffic deaths. In the last year of the study, children accounted for 650 of the 21,000 deaths of drivers and passengers. Preliminary numbers for 2012 showed that the number was only falling. Teens and young adults account for the largest share of the deaths.
The study found that there was a racial disparity when it came to use of car seats and booster seats. Almost half of the black and Hispanic children who died in car accidents in 2009 and 2010 were not in safety seats or wearing seatbelts.
Just last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed new regulations to better protect children in car seats from side-impact collisions.
Protecting Our Children
There are still several steps you can take to protect your children and prevent them from getting into a car accident:
• Always use an infant car seat, booster seat or a seatbelt to secure your child.
• Do not allow your young child to walk or bike alone to school.
• Make sure your car seat is properly assembled and that it is right fit for your child.
• If your child walks to school, make sure that he or she knows the rules of the road and follows them. Always cross only in marked crosswalks.
• Children should never walk while talking on the phone or listening to music.
• Children who bike to school must understand and adhere to the rules of the road. Always ride with traffic and stop at stop signs and lights.
If your child has been injured due to a negligent driver or a defective car seat an experienced California personal injury attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and options.