National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) figures show that every year 250,000 children are injured on our nation’s roadways; of these 250,000 children, 2,000 die due to their accident injuries. Children make up nearly 5% of total car accident fatalities in the U.S. Bucks County personal injury lawyer Michael L. Saile, Jr. shares a statistic published by PennDOT: 8 out of every 10 child safety seats is installed incorrectly. This is not the only reason a great number of children are injured in car accidents each year, however.
Six common ways in which children are injured, or killed, in auto accidents:
- Being left in hot vehicles
- Power windows
- Seat belt entanglement
- Trunk entrapment
- Vehicle rollaway
Backovers happen most often in driveways or parking lots and smaller children are particularly at risk. Preventive measures to take in order to avoid children being injured in your Bucks County or Philadelphia neighborhood are:
- Teach children to avoid playing near parked cars;
- Never leave a child unattended around vehicles;
- Insist that all drivers walk around the back of a vehicle prior to getting in and driving away; and
- Always set the emergency brake and keep your vehicle locked, even in the garage.
While it may seem obvious to you that leaving a child in a hot vehicle is not a good idea, many adults still have not gotten the message. Even though statistically considered an auto accident, this particular type of injury to children is entirely preventable. Yet every year children suffer death by being left in a hot car.
Power windows can pose a strangulation risk to children if there is no safety mechanism to stop the window from rolling closed if there is something or someone blocking its path.
Seat belt entanglement can happen if an unsupervised child pulls the seat belt all the way out and wraps the belt cloth around his or her head, neck, or waist.
To avoid injury, children should be taught to never play in or climb into a car’s trunk, and car keys should never be left within reach of young children.
Finally, PA and NJ vehicle rollaway auto accidents resulting in injury usually happen when children are left unattended in a parked car. Given enough unsupervised time, children may shift the car into gear or into neutral, allowing it to roll away. The best prevention is to take children with you whenever you leave your vehicle, take the keys with you, and apply your parking brake every time you exit.
The PA personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC believe your children are precious and we are passionate about helping those families whose child was injured by a negligent or reckless driver. We will help you to obtain compensation needed for yours or your child’s recovery from accident injury. Take a minute to order our FREE PA Car Accident guide for very useful information about what actions to take following an accident and how to determine if you need even need a lawyer. The book will be downloaded to you instantly. You can reach our lower Bucks County offices at 215-642-2335.