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Car Accidents Are a Leading Cause of Death for Underage Children and Teens

st. louis child crossing the street holding his mom's hand

The University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center analyzed data from the CDC to find out the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. Out of a total of 20,360 deaths among children and teens in 2016, around 4,074 were caused by car accidents, making it the leading cause of death for underage children and teens. As the CDC further reports, around 35% of them were passengers and not wearing a seatbelt

But it’s not just about keeping them safe while inside the vehicle. Children today have a higher degree of mobility, and will often travel on their own around the city. During the school year, some children may have to take the bus to get to classes, perhaps even having to change lines. Higher spikes in mobility are also noticed on holidays, as the children can travel to a preferred area to play. While this may not be exactly the case for all children, as they get older and reach their teenage years, they are generally more independent.

So, what are the areas that are a higher risk for children, and how can parents keep them safe?

Crosswalks

Your child may know what is the best place to cross the street, like always choosing a crosswalk, but they may not always pick the right time to do it. It’s important to teach the child to never step on the crosswalk until they notice the nearest car stopping, even if the crosswalk shows the green light. Explain that drivers may not pay attention to the road and they should be careful.

The Street, Even in Low-Traffic Areas

Children may end up playing in the street if there are no parks or other areas near them. Some parents may allow this because it’s a way to keep them close to home. However, playing in the street is very dangerous, even if the area is not usually prone to high levels of traffic.

Unfortunately, these cases rarely come with an easy solution, as the problem would be fixed by designed a safer playing environment closer to home.

Parking Lots

Because of the large number of parked cars, many children and even adults can perceive these lots as safe. But when they play, children are usually not all too careful with their surroundings, and could potentially get hurt even by a slow-moving vehicle trying to park.

It’s best to prevent your child from playing in parking lots, no matter their size, as they can be unpredictable.

What Can You Do?

Education plays a big role in keeping your child safe, so the best thing you can do to protect them is to teach them how to protect themselves and avoid danger zones.

If your child was injured in a car accident, speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer for help getting the compensation you are legally entitled to from the party at-fault. 


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Updated: July 16, 2023