Children are prone to getting into accidents, which is why it becomes the responsibility of parents and adults to always make sure kids don’t get into situations where they can be seriously hurt. This is especially true when it comes to safety in and around vehicles.
Although parents are well aware that vehicle safety often means keeping keeps buckled up, automobiles present a number of other dangers. Without proper supervision or a focus on safety, these dangers can lead to real and preventable dangers.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our accident attorneys have put together a list of some common dangers involving children and vehicles, as well as some helpful tips to prevent them:
- Backover Crashes - Backover accidents typically involve vehicles coming out of driveways or parking spaces and hitting unattended children. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), backover crashes account for roughly 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries to children each year. You can protect your child by always knowing where they are before backing out of a driveway or parking space. In addition to close supervision, teach your child to avoid the rear end of vehicles when they back up. You should also always look and listen for children or other hazards when backing up - even if you have back up cameras.
- Power Windows - Power windows can be a serious danger for children, causing an estimated 1,000 injuries every year. Children are typically injured when a power window closes on their finger, hand, wrist, or arm. In some cases, children have been choked by power windows. To prevent these injuries, speak to your kids about not playing with windows or standing on seats. You can properly secure children in safety seats, check before you roll up windows, and use child safety locks when available.
- Heatstroke - Heatstroke in vehicles is entirely preventable, yet it continues to happen across the country, including Texas where consistently hot weather increases the risk of heat-related injuries. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if it’s not necessarily hot outside. Heatstroke can still happen in cooler temperatures below 70 degrees. If you ever see a child left unattended in a vehicle, don’t hesitate to call emergency services.
- Safety Belts - Always make sure children are properly secured with safety belts or safety seats. While seatbelts are lifesavers, there have also been many cases of children being injured after becoming entangled with the safety belt. To prevent this, be aware of any belts that can lock if pulled all the way out, buckle unused belts, and use a vehicle’s lower anchors to tie down a car seat so the belt cannot be pulled out.
Although making safety a priority can help reduce the risks of children suffering injuries, defective products and the negligence of other drivers can always lead to preventable harm. When this happens, victims and families can work with personal injury lawyers to secure the justice and compensation they deserve. Call The Daspit Law Firm today if you have questions about car accidents or child injuries.