Indiana’s safety regulations, including its child car seat laws, help protect the lives of children involved in car accidents every year. According to a new study, there are wide differences in crash death rates among child passengers across the United States, and state regulations governing child safety are a major reason for this disparity.
A study by researchers at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston was conducted when researchers went through government data from between 2007 and 2014. The data revealed that fatality rates for children were several times higher in some parts of the country. For instance, researchers discovered that Mississippi experienced a child fatality rate of 3.2 for every 100,000 accidents, and that rate dropped to as low as .25 fatalities for every 100,000 children in a state like Massachusetts.
Why is there such a wide disparity in the number of children killed in traffic accidents across the United States? The researchers believe that it has much to do with the safety regulations that are in place in these states. Regulations that involve not just child car safety seat use or child restraint use, but also red light camera use and other safety policies have a significant impact on the likelihood that child passengers will survive accidents. For example, fatality rates were highest in those states that had larger percentages of children riding in cars without child restraints or without being safety buckled in or in child car safety seats. Child fatality rates also seemed to be much higher in those states in which most of the accidents occurred on rural roads.
Indiana has strong laws that protect child passengers in accidents. Under the law in Indiana, children below the age of eight are required to be secured in a child safety seat, or booster seat. In those cases in which the child cannot fit into a booster seat because of his weight, they must be safely secured in a safety belt. Seat belts are mandated for children between the age of eight and 16 across Indiana.
One of the mistakes that parents can sometimes make is to move their child too early from a rear-facing car seat to a forward facing seat. Pediatricians now recommend that a child continue to be placed in a rear-facing seat at least until they reach the age of two. Indiana doesn’t have laws that require this, so parents would be advised to continue to place their child in a rear facing seat at least until the age of two, in order to avoid the kind of injuries that can occur in an accident.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured in accidents across Indiana. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our attorneys immediately.