Fatal Car Crashes
Enlarge this image A study found 20 percent of children involved in fatal car crashes were improperly restrained, or not restrained at all. Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Getty Images A study found 20 percent of children involved in fatal car crashes were improperly restrained, or not restrained at all. Getty Images
Fatal Car Crashes
Correction May 23, 2017 A previous version of this story stated that 20 percent of children who died in car crashes were improperly restrained. In fact, 43 percent of children who died in car crashes were improperly restrained.
Fatal Car Crashes
The study authors analyzed data collected in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System between 2010 and 2014. In all, they identified more than 18,000 children under 15 years old who were involved in fatal car crashes, 15.9 percent of whom died as a result of the crash.
Nationwide, 55 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2015 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. The largest proportion of deaths in single-vehicle crashes occurred in the District of Columbia (70 percent), Montana (68 percent), and Maine (67 percent), whereas the smallest proportion occurred in Minnesota (47 percent).
There were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2015 in which 35,092 deaths occurred. This resulted in 10.9 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.13 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from 3.4 in the District of Columbia to 24.7 in Wyoming. The death rate per 100 million miles traveled ranged from 0.52 in Maasachusetts to 1.89 in South Carolina. Federal Highway Administration. 2015. Highway statistics, 2014. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation.
The researchers also found that states with red light cameras, which are meant to enforce stoplights, had lower child fatality rates from car crashes. That finding could be of particular interest to local law enforcement and public safety officials, since red light camera laws are often instituted at the municipal level. Past research on red light cameras has found they decrease the number of dangerous “right-angle” collisions at intersections.
But some parts of the country had much worse fatality rates than others. The majority, 52 percent, of children who were in a fatal car crash lived in the South. And across all states, 43 percent of children who died were improperly restrained or not restrained at all, according to Faisal Qureshi, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and an author of the study.
Overall, traffic fatalities in the U.S. are going up, as we have reported. The latest study set out to look at what factors affect child deaths in fatal car accidents, breaking down the data by state and region.
EXCLUSIVE Chris Soules might have just saved himself from showing his face in court for a while — he entered a plea of not guilty on paper, instead of in person. Chris filed a written plea Tuesday, waiving his right to an arraignment in open court. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. Chris was arrested in Iowa last month after he left the scene of the fatal crash with a farm tractor. Prosecutors say he bought booze before the crash. Interesting delay tactic, but one way or another Soules WILL eventually have to show up in court.
The fatal crash happened on Feb. 7, 2015, when Steindorff was stopped at a traffic light on the Pacific Coast Highway. Sixty nine-year-old Kim Howe was driving a Lexus sedan behind Steindorff, who was driving with a suspended license. Jenner rear-ended the Lexus, which was then thrown into oncoming traffic and struck by a Hummer. Howe died from her injuries at the scene of the crash.
In 2015, the types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, Wyoming and North Dakota had the highest percentage of deaths involving occupants of SUVs and pickups (50 percent) and some of the lowest proportions of deaths including car occupants (23 and 27 percent). In contrast, Massachusetts had one of the highest proportions of car occupant deaths (41 percent), a relatively high proportion of pedestrian deaths (24 percent), and a relatively low percentage of deaths involving SUV or pickup occupants (13 percent). The highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths occurred in New Hampshire and South Dakota (23 percent each). The percentage of pedestrian deaths was highest in the District of Columbia (57 percent).
For years, the federal government has collected data on child traffic safety deaths, and offered information about the importance of seat belts and car seats. But decisions about traffic safety laws have been largely left to states.
The findings also underscore the importance of proper seat belt use, as opposed to simply using a seat belt at all. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last year that seat belt use is at its highest level since 1994. But this latest analysis points out that, at least for children, if the seat belt is not correctly fastened across the body, or the child does not have an appropriate car or booster seat, the result can be deadly.
A grieving mother has bravely released harrowing footage of the crash which killed her 12-year-old son when he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Amar Atwal was travelling as a back seat passenger in a Mitsubishi Outlander when it was hit by a speeding taxi in May 2015. The schoolboy was thrown from the vehicle and died two days after the collision on Hollyhedge Road in West Bromwich, West Midlands. Speeding taxi driver Nadeem Hussain, 35, had ignored ‘give way’ instructions when he drove across the junction into the car without stopping or braking. He was jailed for six years in December after a jury found him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. On Monday, Amar’s mother Sukhi Atwal released CCTV footage of the horrific crash as she joined police to start a week-long seat belt awareness campaign.