Mississippi Leads US in Child Fatalities in Car Accidents
A recent report in Mississippi Today revealed a disturbing trend that should concern every parent in the Biloxi area: More Mississippi children die in car accidents every year than in any other state in the US, when assessed on a per capita basis. The information is derived from a report in the Journal of Pediatrics, an international publication that promotes research and advocacy on issues related to medical care and wellness for children. While it may not be possible to completely prevent auto accidents in Mississippi, there are steps parents can take to reduce the risks of serious harm or death to their children. Plus, these precautions are especially important in light of a new law going into effect on July 1, 2017, which aims to provide additional protections for children.
Statistics on Child Car Crash Casualties in Mississippi: The Journal report is based upon statistics measured across the US:
- Mississippi leads the nation in the percentage of children in deadly accidents who were not properly restrained according to laws regarding child seats and other safety devices. Thirty-eight percent of children that died in fatal crashes were not properly buckled up. In contrast, only two percent of children died due to improper restraints in New Hampshire.
- The state mortality rate for children in traffic accidents is 3.23 per 100,000. For purposes of comparison, the lowest mortality rate is Massachusetts at .25 children per 100,000.
Tips for Keeping Children Safe: There are ways parents can keep children safe while traveling in a vehicle, even if prevention of all accidents isn’t possible:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children be positioned in the back seat of a car or truck until age 13;
- For younger children who have outgrown a car seat, the AAP suggest using a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly when the child is around 4 feet, 9 inches tall (age eight years, on average); and,
- Avoid transitioning a child from a car seat too soon. At ages 1-3 years, many parents move a toddler to a booster chair, when a larger car seat would provide more protection.
Mississippi’s “Harlie’s” Law Goes Into Effect July 1, 2017: Legislation signed by the governor will soon require all passengers in a vehicle to wear a seat belt or be restrained in an approved car seat. The prior law only requires seat belts for the driver and front seat passengers.
Biloxi Attorneys Fighting for Children Hurt in an Accident
In the unfortunate event that your child is injured in an auto accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the trauma he or she sustains. Mississippi law allows you to seek damages, on behalf of your child, for medical bills, pain and suffering, and the costs of any ongoing treatment. With your young one’s future at stake, it’s critical to hire an experienced attorney that’s dedicated to holding the responsible driver accountable for his or her negligent actions. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi, MS have represented many parents whose children have suffered injured in a car crashes, so please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.