This week we covered the shocking story of a Pompano Beach car accident in which two children were injured because their mother did not secure them in child safety seats. The mother, who is now in a Broward County jail for child neglect, can teach all Florida residents an important lesson about car accidents and child safety. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 1,400 children die in traffic accidents each year across the country and another 185,000 are seriously injured.
How can we all work to reduce the number of child injuries and child fatalities in car accidents?
- Use proper child safety seats. The single most important step you can take toward making your child safe while traveling is properly using and properly installing a child car seat. In Florida, it is the law that all children under three must be secured in a safety seat and that all infants under 20 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Many safety experts recommend that all children under 8 or under 4’9” ride in booster safety seats.
- All children under 12 should ride in the back of the car. Small children riding in the passenger seat of a car could be seriously injured by an air bag – or simply by being in a more dangerous area of a car during a crash. According to the CDC, riding in the back of the car reduces the chance of serious injury by 40% in children under 16 years of age.
- Don’t get distracted. Driver distractions cause a significant number of car accidents in Florida, and often children can be the cause of distraction. Although parents often need to multitask, do not become distracted by your child while driving. Keep your eyes and mind focused on the task of driving, and pull over if you need to tend to your children.
If your child has been injured as a result of an automobile accident, contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld to see if you can be compensated. The first consultation is free and we can help you determine if you have a case.