Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Children Not Properly Restrained are at Much Higher Risk for Fatal Injury, Study Finds

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Parents and guardians have a challenging task in keeping their child passengers safe while on the road. Installing car seats can be confusing and challenging, as can convincing a headstrong child to willingly get into a car seat or booster seat. Regardless, the battle of wills that can ensue when taking a child on a car trip is worth fighting, according to new research. One study found that children who are not properly restrained when in an accident suffer much worse chances of surviving that crash.

Study compared factors commonly present in accidents

Previous research has shown that motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children between 3 and 13, and that roughly 75% of all car seats are used or installed improperly by parents. The recent study was conducted by medical researchers at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s hospital. The researchers relied on data gathered in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System surrounding over 18,000 car accidents occurring between 2010 and 2014 that involved a child under 15 years old. Among those accidents, 16% caused the death of a child. The researchers looked at the frequency of certain factors in these accidents to determine how often each was associated with a child fatality. These factors included the type of vehicle in which the child was traveling, the type of road where the collision occurred, the state in which the crash occurred, and the type of restraint used for the child.

The researchers learned that in 20% of the 18,000+ accidents studied, children were not properly restrained, or were not restrained at all, at the time of the crash. However, in 43% of all accidents where the child was fatally injured, that child was not restrained or not properly restrained at the time of the crash. A further 13% of children who were fatally injured were improperly seated in the front seat at the time of the crash.

Parents and guardians must make every effort to ensure that children are riding in an age-appropriate child safety device when in the car. However, it is important to know that even if a child somehow becomes free from their restraint and the car is involved in a crash, the family may still have a claim for their child’s injuries against the negligent driver who caused the accident. Contact a skilled California personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash to determine your legal options.

For assistance with a claim for money damages after a Southern California traffic accident, contact the dedicated and effective Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your case, at 310-553-6630.

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