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What's the connection between seat belt use and child fatalities?

If someone were to ask you what the leading cause of child fatalities is, auto accidents may not be the first thing to come to mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes are the leading cause of preventable death for children here in the United States though.

An estimated 116,000 youths age 12 and younger were hurt in car accidents in 2017. Another 675 children lost their lives that same year. One of the leading causes of death in these instances is a failure to wear a seat belt. At least 35% of the children who died in auto accidents in 2017 weren't buckled up at the time of their fatal crash.

CDC data shows that race impacts seatbelt use. Their statistics show that 46% of the Hispanic kids who die in car crashes do so because they weren't buckled up. African-Americans follow closely behind at 45%. At least 26% of the Caucasian children who died in auto accidents that year did because they weren't wearing seat belts.

Those same statistics also show that those children who are less apt to be buckled up are eight to 12-year-olds. Some 49% of those children who died because they weren't wearing seat belts in 2017. At least 36% or more of the four to 7-year-olds who died weren't wearing seat belts. Another 22% of kids under the age of four weren't buckled up at the time of their crash either.

The CDC contends that there's a direct correlation between child and adult seat belt use. Their data shows that 40% of children who ride in cars with unbelted adults fail to use this important safety feature themselves. Another statistic shows that safety restraints on the booster and car seats are inappropriately used in at least 46% of all cases. This greatly impacts their ability to perform as they should.

It's a caregiver's responsibility to take necessary steps to keep their kids safe from getting hurt. If they fail to do so, then they can be held liable for any injuries that ensue. Sometimes caregivers do everything necessary to keep their kids out of harm's way, but products malfunction or can't withstand the impact. A child injury attorney can advise you of your right to request compensation under Texas law if your son or daughter has been hurt due to someone else's negligence here in Waco.

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