Car accidents were the leading cause of death for children age 4 and for every age from 11 to 14, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a recent report. These fatalities were largely preventable.

According to the new report, 1,140 children ages 14 and younger died in traffic crashes in 2011. That represents approximately 4 percent of the 32,367 traffic deaths in the United States in 2011. In South Carolina, 31 children ages 1 to 14 died in motor vehicle accidents in 2011.

Seat Belts and Child Safety Seats

Research has proven that lap/shoulder seat belts can decrease the chances of fatal injuries to front-seat passengers ages 5 and older in cars by 45 percent. In addition, seat belts reduce the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. Occupants of light trucks are 60 percent less likely to die and 65 less likely to suffer critical injuries in an accident if they are wearing seat belts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,953 passengers ages 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes in 2011. Of the children who were killed, 41 percent did not have any type of restraint at the time of the crash.

Research has shown that child safety seats also reduce fatalities. Infants younger than 1 year have a 71 percent better chance of surviving a motor vehicle accident when secured in a car seat. Toddlers between the ages of 1 to 4 have a 54 better chance of getting through a collision if they are in car seats.

The report points out that use of restraints saved the lives of 263 children under age 5. If all children under age 5 had been in safety seats, 51 more lives may have been saved. The lesson here is that both child safety seats and seat belts make a huge difference when it comes to keeping children safe.

Need Legal Help?

Car safety should always be a priority, especially when it comes to young children. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a South Carolina automobile accident due to somebody else’s negligence, contact our South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm.

Whether you need guidance on accidents involving reckless driving or distracted drivers or some other type of car accident, call (877) 936-9707 or use our online form so our attorneys can offer you advice about your rights.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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