Study Reveals Least-Safe States for Children in Cars

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Source: Go Safe Labs announcement

San Francisco, CA – Go Safe Labs has released a new national traffic safety study revealing the 10 least safe states for car accidents involving children.

The non-profit transportation safety group’s report also concludes that across the nation, children are more likely to be involved in car accidents in rural versus urban areas – data that can inform families who are moving to new states as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Analyzing publicly available data from government sources involving more than 300,000 people involved in fatal accidents, Go Safe Labs found the 10 states with the most child injuries or fatalities between 2015-2018 were, most to least, Texas, California, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, Arizona, and Ohio.

 “We want Americans to have the traffic safety data they need to keep their children safe in passenger vehicles,” said Kevin Pomplun, Chairman of Go Safe Labs. “As families move across regions and state lines because of the pandemic, this report is intended to raise awareness of areas that data shows are less safe for children riding in cars.”

“We hope this data reminds parents to always use the appropriate car seats for their children. We urge lawmakers to work with community organizations and the private sector to make America’s roadways safer for children.”

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Child Passenger Safety Technician and Founder of Tot Squad, Jen Saxton said, “Rural families have less access to in-person seat check events, so we’re hopeful that virtual car seat checks, which are gaining in popularity due to COVID-19, will be able to help reach this audience. We must protect our most precious assets: our children.”

 Go Safe Labs’ research found that more children were injured or killed in rural accidents than urban ones, 57 percent versus 43 percent. Additionally, the degree of child injury severity differed by road geography: nearly two-thirds of the children severely injured across the nation between 2015-2018 were in rural areas (63 percent rural to 37 percent urban).

The 10 states, broken down by rural/urban:

StateRural/Urban<16, Inj or Fatal% Rural/Urb, by StateTotal Kids, Inj or Fatal
North CarolinaUrban11934.70%343
North CarolinaRural22465.30%343

Based on the preliminary findings that children are more at risk during car accidents in rural areas, Go Safe Labs agrees with expert recommendations to increase child passenger safety, including:

– Age- and size-appropriate child safety seats should be universally accessible to all families
– Car seat safety education should be universally accessible to all families
– Car safety seat checks should be universally accessible to all families to reduce car safety seat misuse
– Existing child passenger safety laws should be updated to meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendations

Go Safe Labs’ full study can be viewed by clicking HERE.

About Go Safe Labs

Go Safe Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uses data to advance transportation infrastructure and enhance public safety. By assembling and standardizing transportation data at the local, state, and federal levels, Go Safe Labs aims to serve the public interest by providing information and analysis that can improve transportation safety and optimize decision-making. Data sets analyzed by Go Safe Labs provide additional insight into public safety, public infrastructure, transportation safety, and mobile navigation.

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