New Jersey requires children over the age of 8 to be properly restrained whether they ride in the front or back of passenger vehicles. A recent study published in the “Journal of Pediatrics” suggests that the lives of hundreds of children could be saved each year if all states had similar laws. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied fatal traffic accidents that occurred between 2010 and 2014, and they concluded that a 10 percent increase in seat belt use would save the lives of about 230 children under the age of 15 each year.
The researchers found that 16 percent of the 18,000 children involved in fatal car accidents during the period studied lost their lives in crashes that occurred between 45 and 60 mph. A further 13 percent of the children killed were improperly riding in the front of vehicles when the crashes occurred.
The purpose of the study was to find out how factors like stricter traffic safety laws and more rigorous enforcement influence accident fatalities. The research showed that children in the Northeast were far less likely to be killed in motor vehicle accidents than children in southern states. Researchers also found that most fatal crashes involving children take place on rural roads.
Automobile accidents are particularly tragic when the lives of children are lost. The drivers who recklessly cause such crashes are often killed themselves or face decades behind bars. When negligent motorists are deceased or unable to make restitution, experienced personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits against the necessary insurance companies on behalf of accident victims.