Although car accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 through 19 in the U.S., death rates from crashes have decreased over the last decade which many attribute to increased seat belt use, car seats for kids, safety improvements to vehicles, better road construction and growing awareness of the hazards of teen drunk driving.
However, recently, researches note a reversal in the downward trend and an annual increase in childhood car crash mortality rates between 2013 and 2016. Although the cause is still being evaluated, many believe that distracted or impaired driving may be to blame for the recent increase.
Cell phone use by far has resulted in more and more distracted driving among teens, putting drivers, passengers and other motorists and their passengers at significant risk. Add to that the changing attitudes about drugs related to the legalization of marijuana in many states or the scourge of opioid addiction among youth and more teens engage in drugged driving.
An editorial on a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine comparing kids safety in a variety of countries, underscores the sad fact that a child or adolescent in the United States is 57 percent more likely to die by the age of 18 years than those in other wealthy nations and car accidents lead the list of causes.
Although there has been progress, clearly there must be more effort to protect children across the country, particularly in the age of distracted drivers and impaired driving. If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa motor vehicle accident contact Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
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