Car Crashes Leading Cause of Death for Children 14 and Younger

By Peter DePaolis

If you need any more reasons to make sure your children are restrained properly in an automobile, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has an alarming statistic. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14, according to USDOT.

The 3 to 15-year-old age group accounted for 1,314 of the over 33,000 traffic deaths in 2009. In addition, another 179,000 children in the same age group suffered injuries in car crashes that same year. On average, four children under age 14 died every day in automobile accidents in 2009.

Seat belts are the most effective way to reduce traffic deaths. Lap and shoulder belts cut the risk of death and injury to front-seat occupants by as much as 45 percent, according to USDOT research. For the younger passengers, the benefit of proper restraint is even greater. Proper child safety seats reduce the chance of fatal injury by 71 percent for children under age 1.

Proper seat location is just as important as proper restraint. Children under age 12 should sit in the rear passenger seat. Younger children in rear-facing child seats should never be in the front seat. The impact of an airbag can be fatal for young occupants.

Do you have a child injured in an automobile accident? Give our office a call as soon as you can.

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Injury Attorneys

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.