Children in Fatal Car Accidents: How to Prevent a Tragedy

As experienced Virginia car accident lawyers, we’ve seen a lot of injuries. The most disturbing, however, are the most innocent victims of car accidents—those who are too young to even drive. Although we don’t like to think about our children ever coming to harm, the fact is that children are more likely to be killed in an accident than any other passenger.

Statistics on Children and Car Accidents

  • Every year, nearly a quarter of a million children are injured in car accidents.
  • Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 and 14.
  • One fifth of all children killed in car accidents die as a result of a drunk driver—and half of those are killed as a result of riding in a car with an intoxicated guardian behind the wheel.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates reveal that 72% of all child safety restraints are used incorrectly.
  • A Center for Disease Control report reveals that almost 10,000 children are treated annually as a result of non-traffic car accidents, such as backing over a child or leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

How Can These Tragedies Be Prevented?

  • The NHTSA recommends children be secured in booster seats until they are at least 4'9" tall, or around 8 years old, as booster seats can reduce a child’s injury factor by 59% in the event of a crash.
  • Children should be secured in a car seat appropriate to their age before setting off. All drivers carrying children should be aware of the correct way to restrain a child according to the seat’s instructions.
  • All children under 12 years old should be secured in the back seat, as it is the safest part of the vehicle when a crash occurs.
  • Check all mirrors before backing out of driveways, especially when children are known to be in the area. Back out slowly and watch for any children crossing behind obstructions, such as light posts or hedges.
  • Never leave children unattended in vehicles. Extreme weather conditions can be fatal to a child if left in a car without proper heat or ventilation. 
  • Children should not be seated in front of airbags.

Contact Us If Your Child Was Injured In a Car Accident

Remember: all children rely on adults for their safety. You can make sure they are secure in your car, but we cannot control the actions of others on our highways. If your children were involved in an accident on Virginia roads—or as a result of another driver’s negligence—we can help protect your family. For more advice from a Fairfax personal injury attorney, call us today at (703) 591-0067 for a free consultation.