Motor vehicle crashes are the most significant causes of deaths for children in the United States. Many of these deaths would be avoidable if basic child safety tips were followed.

A report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states 663 children aged 12 years or younger died as passengers in automobiles and other vehicles in 2015. More than 121,350 were injured in 2014.

Some research suggests large numbers of parents are failing to restrain their kids. One CDC study found more than 618,000 children aged 12 or under rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat, a booster seat or even a safety belt at any given time.

Of children aged 12 years and younger who died in a motor vehicle crash in 2015, about 35 percent were not buckled up.

According to the law in Georgia, children aged under 8 years old must ride in an approved safety seat or booster suitable for their height and weight.

Child safety tips

Child safety tips can help young passengers

Children under eight-years-old must also ride in the back seat. However, if other young passengers occupy the back seats, a child may ride in the front as long as he or she is secured in a child safety seat or a booster seat.

If your child is aged 8 or above he or she must wear a seatbelt. A child who is over 4 ft. 9 can wear a seat belt in lieu of a booster seat.

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in 2008, 154 children, aged 6 to 8 were involved in motor vehicle crashes. Of these, 10 lost their lives and 1,755 were injured. Only 12 percent of the children who were injured or killed reportedly used a supplemental restraint like a child safety seat or a booster seat, in addition to an adult seat belt.

The office said hospitalization charges for 248 children hurt in traffic-related injuries amounted to about $7 million.

Large numbers of child patients were improperly restrained. In some cases, children are given child seats or booster seats but parents fail to fit them properly, meaning they offer little or no protection.

Children using booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than children using adult seat belts alone.

Every year passengers are injured or killed on the roads of Georgia. Children are particularly vulnerable. Call the Law Office of Michael West today if you or a child was hurt in an accident at (404) 913-1529.