Motor Vehicle Injury Statistics: How Children Are Impacted

No one wants to be involved in a car accident, but unfortunately, they happen every day. Due to their smaller statures, children who are in vehicles that crash are often injured. The Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Fact Sheet was recently updated to provide more information about how car accidents impact kids between the ages of 0-and 19.

While this data can be difficult to read, it can also show us how to help prevent future automobile accidents involving children.

Automobile-Related Fatalities

In 2019, over 2,700 children died in automobile accidents in the United States. Nearly 416,400 more were injured. Although the rate of auto accident fatalities in children decreased by 54% between 2005 and 2019, this number is still alarming.

In addition to the fatalities from vehicle collisions, not-in-traffic incidents including vehicular heatstroke and backover-related injuries also contributed to child deaths. In 2020, 26 children from ages 0-14 died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise quickly, even on relatively cool days, so it’s important to be aware that children should not be left in a vehicle. Since 55% of the children who died due to vehicular heatstroke between 2001 and 2020 were unknowingly left in vehicles and 26% gained access to the vehicles on their own, always make sure to check that your child has exited the vehicle and consider locking the doors when you’re not driving.

Tragically, each week two children on average die of backover incidents. These typically happen when a vehicle is backing up and an unattended child is struck after not being seen by the driver. The greatest risk is for children under age 5.

Child Injuries from Collisions

The rate of nonfatal automobile accident-related child injuries decreased by 26% from 2005 to 2019. In 2019, teens ages 15 to 19 accounted for 71% of nonfatal injuries related to motor vehicle collisions. Nonfatal injuries among child vehicle occupants were more frequent between May and October; slightly more injuries occurred on Fridays compared to other weekdays.

74% of teens ages 15 to 19 who were fatally injured during a vehicle crash were passengers in the front seat. About 59% of those injured in this age group were drivers. Distraction, speeding, and drowsiness were the top three conditions reported regarding fatally injured teen drivers.

80% of the collisions where a child was fatally injured in 2019 happened on dry roads. 12% occurred on wet roads, and 3% in snow/ice conditions. 55% of fatal injuries among child occupants happened at roadway intersections.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.