The Southern way of life is a comfortable one that can entail casual evening strolls and lounging on the front porch with a tall glass of sweet tea. Taking care of family is important, and children are cherished. While we take care to keep our children safe, data has shown an alarming fact: children in the South are far more likely to die from a car accident than those in the North.
Why is there a geographical difference in car accident fatalities for children?
A recent study from researchers with both Harvard and UT Southwestern Medical Center dug into regional statistics for child fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents. Ultimately, the researchers found that Southern states were much more likely to experience higher numbers of these tragedies compared to their Northern counterparts.
More specifically, the study found that 130 children died due to injuries sustained in a car wreck here in Georgia.
Researchers did more than just gather numbers; they dug into the reasoning behind the disparity. Here is what they found:
- Laws. The laws that are present to help protect passengers in vehicles played a role in the fatality rate. One specific example discussed within the study involved the presence of red light camera regulations. The data found that those states which have this type of regulation experienced a reduction in child auto fatalities.
- Restraints. The importance of properly securing a child within a car seat was highlighted in this study. Researchers noted that 20 percent of fatalities were the result of a failure to restrain the child or to use the car seat inappropriately. An additional 13 percent of these accidents involved children that were inappropriately seated in the front of the vehicle.
- Alcohol. The presence of alcohol was a contributing factor in 9 percent of child auto fatalities.
Ultimately, the publication calls for increased regulation focusing on the above noted factors to help reduce the risk of these accidents.
Unfortunately, even when parents take every precaution to protect their child, accidents can happen. Those who are injured in a car accident must navigate many issues. Health care concerns, rehabilitation and missed work are only a few examples and these alone can be overwhelming. Add in legal woes and the stress can make healing and focusing on helping your loved ones impossible. In these cases, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review the details of your accident and build a case to hold any accountable parties responsible for the resulting damages.