For decades, experts were outspoken about car wrecks being one of the top causes of death for small children. Since then, legislatures have been diligent in implementing laws that aim to protect children in vehicles and lower the number of deaths.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for every four unintentional deaths of a child, one of those is due to a wreck. The best way to prevent these deaths is by using proper child restraint systems.
Rear seat positioning
Children who ride in the backseat of a vehicle who are ages four to eight have half the chance of dying as those riding in the front of the vehicle. For children age three and under, the risks reduce by three-quarters. Georgia law requires that children under the age of eight must ride in the backseat if they are less than 57 inches tall.
Safety seat requirements
When statistics about the death of children in car wrecks started in 1975, there were still ten years before states started making safety seats mandatory. With the introduction of such laws, the number of deaths declined. In 1975, according to the IIHS, there were almost 1,400 deaths of children under 13 who died in car wrecks. By 2018, the number was down to just a little over 630. This equates to a reduction of 60%.
In Georgia, the safety seat laws apply to all children under the age of eight. Children must ride in a seat that is appropriate for his or her height, weight and age.