According to research, the most common cause of death for any child under the age of 15 is an unintentional injury. Given that the primary cause of unintentional injury in the United States is car accidents, it is important to consider how your child’s life or development could be jeopardized by a serious vehicle accident caused by another person’s negligence. Between the years of 2010 and 2014, slightly less than 3,000 children died in motor vehicle accidents across the country. While children home over the summer, there’s a greater chance of unintentional injury than at other times during the year. Being mindful of potential risks and taking care to get medical help as soon as possible after an accident are the critical steps parents should take to protect their children and minimize the repercussions of an accident.

This is an average of 11 children every single week. This number also excludes pedestrians, victims who passed away in a bicycle or motorcycle accident and those individuals who died riding in a trailer or unenclosed cargo area.

The majority of the children who passed away in these accidents were not wearing seatbelts. In fact, up to 43% of children nationwide were improperly restrained or unrestrained. Another 13% of those who were riding cars driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol and 15% were sitting inappropriately in the front seat.

The analysis was recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics and found significant variations in children’s death data from one state to another. Rural roads were the most dangerous for accidents with 67% of them occurring on rural roads. Some of the most common issues increasing the chances of an accident on a rural road include distance to trauma centers, poor lighting and an urban resident’s lack of familiarity with these rural roads.