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Study Finds Restraints Critical in Protecting Child Lives in Accidents

Father securing seat belt

When traveling in the car with your children, you take pains to ensure that they’re safely buckled into their seat or safety device before getting behind the wheel. Even when you make every effort to ensure that they are safely restrained, sometimes children can squirm loose or even unbuckle themselves. One study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 75% of parents did not properly install their child’s car seat or ensure that they were using the correct seat for their child. According to a recent report, these restraint failures can cause a substantial increase in the chances that a child will be fatally injured in a crash.

Study finds restraint failure the factor most likely to result in fatality

The report looking at child fatality rates in traffic accidents was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. The study used data gathered from over 18,000 fatal traffic accidents involving a child under 15 occurring between 2010 and 2014. In 16% of those accidents, one of the fatalities was of a child. Researchers analyzed a number of factors to determine which had a likelihood of causing a child to be fatally injured, including the type of vehicle in which the child was being transported, the type of road on which the car was traveling, whether the driver was inebriated, the state in which the crash occurred, and whether the child was adequately restrained.

According to the study, the factor that was most often associated with fatal injuries to a child was the improper use of restraints. Forty-three percent of children who were killed in a crash were either not restrained at all or were restrained improperly. An additional 13% were riding in the front seat when they should not have been. Children were also far more likely to die on rural roads than on highways or urban roads, and were more likely to die while riding in an SUV than in another type of vehicle.

As a parent, it is important for both your child’s safety and for the sake of complying with the law to ensure that you choose the right car seat for your child. Make sure that any child under eight years old is in a car seat and that older children are safely buckled in. Children should not ride in the front seat of a car until they are 13. That said, even if your child is not restrained at the time of a crash, don’t assume that you will be prevented from seeking money damages after your child is injured in an accident. A knowledgeable and skilled Chicagoland personal injury attorney can help you determine if you’re eligible for money damages after an accident.

For assistance with filing a claim for damages after an Illinois traffic accident, contact the dedicated, compassionate, and effective Carol Stream personal injury lawyers at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation on your case, at 630-665-9600.

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