No one wants to think about it, but accidents happen. To make matters even worse, the severity of accidents is increasing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that even though fewer people were driving during the pandemic due to stay at home orders and other pandemic related factors, the rate of motor vehicle fatalities actually went up. The agency reported a 7.2% increase in traffic deaths last year, the largest increase since 2007. This translates to over 38,000 people who died in car crashes in 2020.
What can we do to keep our kids safe?
Few are more vulnerable in these accidents that our youngest passengers. Thankfully, there are steps we can take to help better ensure their safety in the event of a crash. These steps include:
- Get a car seat. Car seat use can help to better ensure the child is secure and safe if there is an accident. The NHTSA has found that car seats can reduce the risk of a fatal injury to children by more than 70% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
- Install the car seat correctly. Each car seat can go into each vehicle a little differently. Take the time to review the instructions and install it correctly. If you are unsure, find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to double check.
- Make sure to upgrade as your child grows. A five-point harness or a high-back booster? Finding the right seat will depend on the weight and height of your child. Read the specifications for each and choose the right one for your child. Check regularly and update as needed.
Those who are involved in a car accident can hold a negligent or reckless driving accountable for the cost of the crash. Do not be afraid to move forward with a lawsuit, as the funds needed to care for an injured child can quickly add up.