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Research Shows Importance of Proper Restraints for Child Car Passengers

Retraits on a car seat

Most parents know the struggle to find the right car seat for their children and to ensure that the seat is properly installed into their vehicle. Most parents have also had days where their children refused to sit in their car seat without a drawn-out battle, tempting the parent to let them ride in the car without any restraints at all so that they could finally get on the road. This momentary lapse in concern for safety can have long-term consequences. New research on fatal traffic accidents reveals the serious consequences of failing to use proper restraints for child passengers.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death of children between 3 and 13. In order to better understand the causes of child fatalities in traffic accidents, a team of researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston studied fatal accidents involving children under age 15. The results of their study were recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The researchers examined data gathered from over 18,000 fatal accidents involving a child occurring between 2010 and 2014. In 16% of these accidents, a child was among those fatally injured. The researchers looked at numerous factors, including: whether the accident occurred on rural roads, city streets, or divided highways; whether alcohol or other substances were a factor in the crash, the type of vehicle in which the child was a passenger, and whether the child was appropriately restrained at the time of the crash.

The researchers determined that, in 20% of all fatal accidents involving a child, the child was not properly restrained at the time of the crash. However, in those accidents where a child was fatally injured, the child was not properly restrained 43% of the time. In 13% of all accidents where a child was fatally injured, the child was seated in the front seat when they should not have been. Parents and guardians are advised to take these statistics to heart. Not only will a child be provided with a much greater likelihood of surviving a crash if belted in, but the law requires it. New Jersey drivers transporting children are required to use a child safety seat on any child under age 8 and under 57 inches tall. Even if a child is not restrained properly at the time of the crash, families may still have a claim for damages against an at-fault driver if that child is injured in an accident. Speak with a New Jersey accident lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a New Jersey traffic accident, contact the dedicated and seasoned personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation at 973-532-9681.

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