As a parent, nothing is more devastating than the loss of a child. Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death of children in Texas. Over 200 children died in Texas car accidents in 2020 alone. However, most traffic accident fatalities among children are largely preventable.
If your child has been injured or experienced a wrongful death due to another driver’s negligence, a highly qualified car accident lawyer can help you recover damages for the losses you and your child have suffered. While compensation cannot undo a tragedy, it can help ease the financial burden of medical or final expenses.
One leading reason for child traffic fatalities in Texas is the improper use of seatbelts and car seats. According to the CDC, nearly half of car seats in the United States are misused. In many accidents that resulted in child fatalities, car seats or seat belts were not used at all. Fastening seat belts and correctly using an appropriate car seat is essential to your child’s safety and must be done every time you get in the car.
Another major threat to child safety on the road is impaired driving. In 2019, 23% of child passengers under 14 were killed by drunk drivers. Drunk driving is rampant in the Lone Star State and is a leading cause of car accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol not only puts the driver and their passengers at risk, but also the occupants of all other vehicles on the road.
Fortunately, following best safety practices can help keep your child safe in your car and prevent unnecessary tragedies. Some important tips include:
- Use the Correct Car Seat: As children grow, they need different sizes and different types of car seats for their safety. Ensure your current car seat is up to date, and ensure that you purchase the correct seat for your child’s age and height.
- Read Car Seat Instructions Thoroughly: Every car seat comes with a set of detailed instructions. Make sure you read and understand these so the seat is not misused and is installed correctly.
- Place the Car Seat Correctly: Rear-facing seats should never be placed on a seat with an active passenger airbag.
- Register Your Car Seat: Register your car seat online so that you can be informed of any safety recalls.
- Prepare for Travel: Be sure to bring and prepare a car seat for any taxi or rideshare trips.
- Transition to Seat Belt When It’s Time: When your child is big enough, they can transition out of the car seat and use a regular seat belt. They could be ready around eight years of age, depending on their size.
- Keep Children in the Back Seat: The back seat is the safest place for children under 13 in the event of an accident.
Additionally, never get behind the wheel when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol regardless of whether or not you have children in your vehicle.
Dealing with the wrongful death or injury of a child is a painful and stressful process. If the death or injury resulted from another party’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your child have suffered. The experienced attorneys at Sutliff & Stout understand this and are committed to advocating for you so that you can collect the compensation you rightfully deserve.
We are dedicated and passionate about helping our clients achieve favorable outcomes for their cases. To schedule a free case review, call our office at (713) 987-7111 or fill out our contact form today.