The leading cause of serious injury and death for Georgia’s children, under the age of the 13, is found in motor vehicle accidents. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a child in this way knows exactly how traumatic it is and would probably wish to ensure that others are aware of the precautions that they can take to lessen the likelihood of experiencing a similar loss. At the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates, we’ve seen the aftermath of these terrible situations, and we can assure you that having all of the information you can get to prevent it is well worth it if it prevents the loss of even one child.
It is also wise to be aware of the devastating nature of injuries that children experience in auto accidents, even when they mercifully survive. The associated injuries can still completely alter the life of the child and his or her family, with permanent disabilities, including paralysis, and the potential for long-lasting post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
What Is The Leading Cause of Georgia Auto Accident Injuries and Death for Children?
The leading cause of Georgia auto accident injuries and death for children is not only the various causes of the accidents themselves, but the fact that so many people do not take the necessary precautions to ensure that their children, or the children that are in their care, are appropriately buckled in. Some people don’t fully understand how child restraints in car seats and booster seats should be used. Others don’t take the time to ensure proper use because they simply don’t think they are going to be in such an accident. People rarely think that they’re going to be in an accident when they head out into the world, completing errands and commuting from one place to the next.
Yet, thousands of auto accidents happen every day, and far too many children are terribly injured or lost forever due to improper restraints at the time that the accident occurred. You should always ensure that children are safely buckled in, with the knowledge that the next auto accident on Georgia roads could very well involve your vehicle and the children you’re caring for.
Making Sure Children Are Restrained Correctly is Not as Simple as Many Believe
The troubling statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that out of every ten children (age five and under) who experiences a serious injury or death in an auto accident, four of them were not restrained properly. In many of these cases, the caregivers were under the impression that the child was properly restrained. They had the child in the car seat, buckled in, and they thought they did everything right. Unfortunately, there are far too many parents and caregivers who don’t realize that they are not, in fact, buckling the child in correctly.
The parent or caregiver may think the child is big enough to not need a booster seat when they are not (children under 8 years old should be in a booster seat or car seat that is the right size for them). They may think that the car seat is installed and buckled correctly, when it is not (there are specific instructions for installing and buckling car seats that everyone should be aware of). A common example of this is found in those who don’t pay attention to where the buckle that holds an infant or toddler in the car seat is placed (it should be at chest level, not at the neck or the belly). Some people are not aware of the specific mechanism of their vehicle’s seat belts, which should be locked in place.
Tips To Prevent Childhood Injury or Death in Georgia Auto Accidents
These tips are provided to help all parents and caregivers of children be aware of exactly what they need to do to minimize the likelihood of serious injury or death to a child in a Georgia auto accident.
- Ensure that the child is properly restrained, no matter what. It is common for people to think that since they aren’t going very far, they are probably not going to get into an accident, so the child will be fine without their booster seat or car seat, just this once. Yet, most auto accidents occur near the victim’s house, on those short and quick trips that you think are safe.
- Ensure that you are following all of the necessary instructions of the car seat or booster seat. It must be properly installed and the restraint system must be properly used. If you have any doubts, visit your local police department or fire department for assistance.
- Never allow your child to remove themselves from their car seat. If they do so, pull over right away to put them back in their seat. If the child is old enough to do this, then you can explain the importance of safety. If it is an ongoing problem with the child, then you may need to look into another kind of car seat which will make it more difficult for the child to do this. You can also provide activities for your child to do, so that he or she is less likely to try to escape.
- Never attend to your child’s needs while the vehicle is moving. Pull over to do so. If you must feed your child, clean your child, or do anything else for your child, do not do so while driving or while the vehicle is moving. For the driver, this would be a distraction as well as a risky behavior for the child if they must be removed from their seat. This applies to passengers as well, when the child must be removed from their seat to address their needs.
Seek a Free Consultation with the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates
If you or your child has been injured in a Georgia auto accident, you need legal guidance to establish liability and recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact the skilled Douglasville car wreck lawyers at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates to schedule a free consultation.