Twenty percent of children who were in a car crash where someone died were not buckled in properly or were not wearing a seat belt at all, a study finds, as were 43 percent of children who died themselves.
And child fatality rates in deadly car crashes vary widely by state.
The results add evidence to the argument that state regulations and public information tactics can affect motor vehicle safety for kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that, for example, seat belt use across all age groups is higher in states with more stringent seat belt enforcement laws.
Overall, traffic fatalities in the U.S. are going up, as we have reported. The latest study set out to look at what factors affect child deaths in fatal car accidents, breaking down the data by state and region.
The study authors analyzed data collected in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System between 2010 and 2014. In all, they identified more than 18,000 children under 15 years old who were involved in fatal car crashes, 15.9 percent of whom died as a result of the crash.