California Makes the List for Most Dangerous States for Child Passengers

California ranked second only to Texas for the number of children injured or killed in traffic accidents between 2015 and 2018; a disproportionate number of accidents happened on rural roads.

California is the most populous state, which means that it ranks highly in almost any statistic that ranks states by raw numbers of incidents, instead of by percentages of the state’s total population. A recent report by Go Safe Labs, a nonprofit organization dedicated to traffic safety, ranked the top 10 states by the number of fatality traffic accident victims below the age of 18 in a period lasting from 2015 to 2018. During the study period, 771 children in California died in traffic accidents, meaning that California came in at a distant second behind Texas, in which children represented 1,172 traffic fatalities. California’s traffic safety laws played a role in keeping California out of the top spot. If your child has been injured in a car accident, contact a Temecula car accident lawyer.

The Least Safe State for Car Travel for Children

According to the Go Safe Labs report, the 10 states with the highest number of children killed in traffic accidents were Texas, California, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Arizona, and Ohio. In all of those states, rural areas accounted for more than half of accidents resulting in injuries. While the report did not include a breakdown of types of vehicles involved in accidents, pickup trucks are a more common method of transportation in rural areas, and these tend not to be practical for installing rear seat belts or child safety seats.

How to Keep Children Safe During Car Trips

Despite these scary statistics, there is plenty you can do to keep children safe while traveling in the car. When you ensure that children are riding in a child safety seat that is appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight, with the seat properly installed and the child wearing the appropriate restraints, you can greatly reduce the chances of the child suffering serious injuries in the event of a car accident. Many cities hold child car safety checks, where police officers can inspect your child’s car seat, ensure that it is installed properly, and help you fix it if it is not; these events are less accessible to drivers who live in rural areas, which may contribute to the disproportionate number of rural accidents in the Go Safe Labs report.

According to California law, children under age two must ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car. Children must use a booster seat in the back seat until they are eight years old or 57 inches tall. All passengers under the age of 11 must ride in the back seat.

Contact the Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst

A Murrieta car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if your child was injured while riding in a car, even if the child was riding in the at-fault driver’s car. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to discuss your case.