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7 Stunning Statistics Every Parent Should Know About Reckless Drivers

You and every other parent knows that reckless drivers are a danger to our children. Reckless drivers aren’t just a danger while children walk home from school or play outside, they also are a danger any time your child rides in a car. Knowing these stunning statistics will help you keep your children safe.

1. Reckless Driving Is up in 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic affected nearly every aspect of our lives in 2020. Because of the pandemic, the average number of cars on the road in 2020 was reduced significantly. Unfortunately, despite fewer cars being on the road, rates of reckless driving have increased all over the nation. Much of the reckless driving involves speeding, perhaps because of less congestion. Some streets in Los Angeles showed a 30% increase in speeding from the same time last year. Across the country, in New York City, automated traffic speed cameras issued nearly twice the number of speeding citations on March 27, 2020, than they had just one month prior. Higher rates of reckless driving, whether speeding or texting-and-driving are involved, don’t just affect our children, they affect all of us.

2. On Halloween Children Are Four Times More Likely to Be Hit by a Car

Halloween sees more children die after being struck by a vehicle than any other day of the year. Children are four times more likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than average. Of course, on Halloween there are more children in the street than other days of the year.

You would think that drivers would be particularly cautious on Halloween, but apparently this is not the case. Between 2004 and 2018, an average of 54 child pedestrians were killed each Halloween. 

3. On Halloween, Children Between Four and Eight Are Ten Times More Likely to Die from Being Hit by a Car Than Average

Children between the ages of four and eight are especially susceptible to fatalities on Halloween. Using 42 years of data, one study found that children between the ages of four and eight were ten times more likely to die from being hit by a car on Halloween night (between 6 P.M. and 12 A.M.) than average. The majority of those deaths were in residential neighborhoods. Having your children go trick-or-treating before dark and supervising them can help keep these numbers down. 

4. Unintentional Injury Is the Leading Cause of Death Among Children

Unintentional injuries are by far the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Reckless driving puts children at risk of unintentional injury in a number of different ways. Speeding, drunk-driving, and distracted driving are all reckless-driving behaviors that contribute to the number of child deaths caused by unintentional injury each year.

5. 17% of All Traffic-Related Fatalities Are Pedestrians

Pedestrians, including children, are at a higher risk of dying after being struck by a vehicle than at any other time in the last 30 years. 17% of all traffic-related fatalities were pedestrians in 2019, which was a 5% increase from 2018. Reckless driving contributed to this number. 

To help combat pedestrian fatalities, make sure your children know about traffic safety. Teach your children to walk where they are most visible in areas where there is no sidewalk, and don’t have them walk home in the dark. Most of all, educate your children on crossing the street safely. Teach them how to properly use crosswalks, about how traffic signals work, to look both ways, and to make sure a driver sees them before crossing the road anywhere.

6. More Than One-Third of Children Who Die in Car Accidents Are Not Buckled Up

In 2017, more than one third (35%) of all children age 12 and under who died in car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. For children ages 8–12, the rate was even higher at almost 50%. Teach your children to always buckle up. Also, be a good example for your children and be sure to use a seatbelt yourself. The CDC found that almost 40% of children riding with unbuckled drivers were also not wearing a seatbelt. Properly using a seatbelt cuts the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident in half every time you get in a car.

7. One in Five Child Passenger Deaths Is Alcohol Related

Between 2001 and 2010, one in five child passenger deaths involved at least one drunk driver. In 65% of those fatalities, the driver of the child was intoxicated. Furthermore, 61% of those children were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Make sure your children know the dangers of drunk driving. Teach them to never get in the car with someone who has been drinking, and model this good behavior yourself to help keep your family safe.

Driving drunk with child passengers is probably the most reckless driving behavior out there. If you want to hold a reckless driver accountable for their behavior, click here.

Don’t Let Your Children Be a Statistic

Help make sure your child doesn’t end up as one of these statistics. Make sure your children know about pedestrian safety, seatbelt use, the dangers of drunk driving, and general awareness. Most of all, model all of this good behavior yourself to show its importance to your children. This good behavior includes not driving recklessly yourself. Help us keep our families safe, and cut down on rates of reckless driving and related problems.

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