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Study finds restraints important in preventing child fatalities

In a study that examined children's deaths in motor vehicle accidents from 2010 to 2014 by state, Pennsylvania had one of the lowest percentages. The study looked at fatalities among children under the age of 15. It found that more than 60 percent of these fatal crashes happened on rural roads and that in 20 percent of the deaths, children were not restrained or were restrained improperly. In 13 percent, children were in the front seat when they should not have been.

The South had the highest number of child deaths with 1,550 between 2010 and 2014. The region with the fewest, the Northeast, had 189. One researcher commented that the enforcement of effective state laws and regulations was critical in promoting safety. The lives of more than 230 children would be saved each year by a 10 percent increase in proper use of seat belts, car seats and other restraints. This amounts to almost 40 percent of the total number of deaths during the years of the study.

The study also found that 9 percent of the time, a driver was under the influence. Most accidents happened when vehicles were traveling 45 to 60 mph. The state with the highest numbers of child deaths per 100,000 was Mississippi while Massachusetts was the lowest.

Even non-fatal car accidents may have long-term or even permanent consequences. People injured in accidents that have been caused by another motorist's negligence might need to undergo long periods of rehabilitation that may limit their ability to return to work. The loss of income and medical expenses can be stressful, and thus people in this situation may want to have the assistance of a personal injury lawyer when seeking compensation from the at-fault driver.

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