In late November, a 3-year-old child was killed when the car he was riding in collided with another vehicle traveling in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, child injuries and fatalities are all too common in car accidents, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting that over 97,000 children age 12 or younger are injured and over 600 are killed in the U.S. each year. Ensuring the safety of your children while on the road is of the utmost importance, as is knowing what to do if they are injured.
Promoting the Safety of Child Passengers
Although you cannot control the behavior of another driver, you can control the safety measures you take to protect your children from car accident injuries. Some of the most important steps you can take include:
- Make sure your children are properly secured. According to the CDC, one-third of child fatalities in car accidents occur when the child is improperly restrained. Ensuring that your child always wears a seat belt can significantly reduce injury risk, but depending on your child’s age, a seat belt alone may be insufficient. For example, the CDC recommends that children under the age of 4 be secured in a rear-facing car seat and that a front-facing car seat or booster seat should be used until a seat belt fits your child properly.
- Keep your children in the back seat. The CDC also recommends that children under the age of 12 ride in the back seat of your vehicle, in the middle if possible. Passengers in the front seat or near the outside of a vehicle are at greater risk of injury, and front passenger airbags can also be dangerous to young children.
- Avoid driving with your children after drinking alcohol. Around 20 percent of child passenger fatalities result from accidents involving drunk drivers, often the driver of the vehicle in which the child is traveling. Driving under the influence is dangerous under any circumstance, but when your children are involved, you are putting more than your own life at risk.
Personal Injury Claims for Minors in Texas
If your child is injured in a car accident, you can file a personal injury claim on his or her behalf. With the assistance of an attorney, you can work to obtain compensation for your child’s medical expenses and other damages and to ensure that the case is settled or resolved in your child’s best interests....