Motor Vehicle Safety - Injury and Incidence Statistics

The following statistics are the latest available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC):

Injury and death rates:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
  • In 2005, 1,451 children ages 0 to 15 years were killed in vehicle-related deaths.
  • Fifty percent of children ages 14 and under killed in motor vehicle crashes were not safely restrained.
  • Approximately 203,000 children ages 14 and under suffered injuries in motor vehicle crashes in 2004.
  • The majority of the children killed by airbags in motor vehicle crashes were unrestrained or improperly restrained.

Where and when:

  • The majority (75 percent) of motor vehicle crashes occur within 25 miles of home.
  • Most crashes occur in areas where the speed limit is 40 mph or less.

Safety restraint statistics:

  • About 73 percent of child safety seats or booster seats are improperly used.
  • One-third of children ride in the front passenger seat, increasing the risk for injury and death.
  • Properly installed and used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4. Child safety seats can also reduce the need for hospitalization among children ages four and under by 69 percent.

Pedestrian statistics:

  • Pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages five to 14.
  • Children ages one to two suffer the highest number of pedestrian injuries, most often when a vehicle is backing up.

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