Feb 8

#1 Killer of Kids – Car Accidents

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CAR ACCIDENTS NUMBER ONE KILLER OF CHILDREN AGES 4 TO 14

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 7,500 lives have been saved by the proper use of vehicle child restraints during the past 20 years. However, car accidents still remain the number one killer of children ages 4 to 14 in America. Why? Too often, it is the improper use, or non-use, of child safety seats and booster seats.

While parents are good with infants and toddlers–98% of America’s infants and 93% of children ages 1 to 3 are regularly restrained–only 10% to 20% of children ages 4 to 7 who should be using booster seats to protect them are actually in them. Statistics show that these booster seats work–a child is 59% less likely to be injured in a car accident than children who are restrained only by a seat belt.

For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should remember the “Four Steps for Kids”:

  1. For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. It is recommended to keep infants rear facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
  2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat, usually around the age 4 and 40 pounds.
  3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belts fit across the upper thighs and the shoulder belts fits across the chest, usually at age 8 or when the child is 4’9″ tall.
  4. When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use the adult seat belt int he back seat, if it fits properly.

Child Passenger Safety Week starts next week–February 11-17. What better way to show your love on Valentine’s Day that to make sure your children are safe.

Last year, Buckle Up Florida noted that at the end of the Child Passenger Safety Week Safety Belt Enforcement Wave, which was conducted from February 10th to 23rd, law enforcement had issued more than 31,000 safety belt and child restraint citations across the state.

One of the saddest cases in my career as an attorney was representing the wonderful mother and father of a beautiful little girl who died following a car accident in Florida. The last words this little sweetheart said to her father before she died were “You’re a good daddy, Daddy. You’re a good daddy.” I will never forget the anguish this family felt because someone drove so carelessly to cause a car accident with the vehicle she was in.

If your child or a loved one’s child has been injured because of the fault of another driver in a Florida car accident, it is important to know what your rights are. There are statute and case law that outline what a child and parent can be compensated for in the event of a Florida car accident. Attorney Matthew Noyes’ law firm has been representing children and adults for injuries after a Florida car accident for over 52 years. To Contact Attorney Matthew Noyes Following a Florida Car Accident, Simply Click Here.

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