Vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 3-14 in the United States.
Child safety seats, booster seats and seat belts are the best protection.
According to the CDC, placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. But most are being used incorrectly in some way, putting children at risk.
via Child Passenger Safety, Child Safety Seat Booster Seat Guidelines.
Speed is involved in about one out of three fatal crashes. It is the third leading contributing factor to traffic crashes. But while injuries and fatalities due to other dangerous behaviors, such as driving while impaired and not wearing seatbelts, have been significantly reduced, speeding is still a challenge.
People sitting in back seat should use safety belts for the same reasons they should use them in the front seat: to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in a crash. Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 44 percent among back-seat outboard occupants in passenger cars and 73 percent among back-seat outboard occupants of vans and SUVs. In a frontal crash, drivers and front-seat passengers are at increased risk of injury from unbelted back-seat passengers, and in a side-impact crash, passengers sitting adjacent to unbelted passengers are at increased risk of injury. Exposure to unbelted occupants increases the risk of injury or death to other occupants in the vehicle by 40 percent.
Unbuckled occupants “become a back-seat bullet” in a crash, says Pam Fischer, state highway traffic safety director. In collisions, experts say, unbelted passengers in the back seat continue to move at the same rate of speed as the vehicle they’re in until they hit something — seat back, dashboard, windshield or people in the front seat. Yet many view the back seat as somehow safer.
via States expand seat belt laws to cover rear-seat riders – USATODAY.com.