Car crashes are a major contributor to injuries and fatalities for people of all ages. However, there is no ignoring how dangerous collisions can be for those who are not yet adults. Children ride in vehicles designed for the safety of adults and restraints similarly designed for those taller and heavier than they are.
Even with specialized car seats and boosters, children can suffer severe and fatal injuries in crashes. How much focus should you put on your children’s safety when you head out for a drive?
Certain mistakes drastically increase the risk to your children
Harm reduction or risk minimization techniques can go a long way toward keeping your family safe on the streets. After all, driving together is one of the most dangerous activities your family can enjoy. Every year, hundreds of young children and even more teenagers die in motor vehicle crashes. Tens of thousands more suffer severe injuries.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single most important step you can take as a parent will be teaching your kids to always use their safety belt. Not having a belt on plays a role in many child fatalities during a collision. You should also make sure you properly use car seats and boosters. Avoiding driving with your children after consuming alcohol or other mind-altering substances can also keep them safer.
Injuries to children can be more serious for several reasons
A child who gets hurt in a car crash may cost your family far more than an adult if they suffered similar injuries. The reason why is simple: Children haven’t finished growing and everything from broken bones to brain injuries can have a more significant, long-term impact on the child’s health and development.
Additionally, children may suffer psychological trauma when they experience a car crash that could limit their independence later in life. You will have to consider the extra costs that may stem from your child’s injuries, including repeated surgeries, increased reconstructive costs because of the expense involved with hiring pediatric specialists and significant therapeutic expenses if they develop a fear of traveling in vehicles.
Having a good idea about the impact of an injury on your family finances and your child’s life will make it easier for you to negotiate an insurance claim or develop a personal injury claim after a crash.