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High stakes for children in DUI car accidents

Drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol generate enough worry for other drivers, but they also put their own children in peril. According to a new study, a disturbing number of child fatalities in DUI accidents were caused as a result of the children’s own driver.

Analyzing child deaths in drunk driving traffic accidents between 2000 and 2010, study researchers found that two-thirds of children were killed in drunk driving accidents caused by the driver of the vehicle in which they were riding. Children may be less able to survive major injuries from car accidents, particularly if they haven’t been properly secured in car seats or safety belts. Since younger children are typically secured in the back part of the car, they may sustain injuries from accidents that avoid the front part of the vehicle where the driver is sitting.

The report notes that in many of the drunk driving accidents they researched, the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was likely to survive the incident, even though child passengers were not. Parents should always be cautious about entrusting other adults to transport their children to and from places to reduce the likelihood of drunk driving accidents. This includes babysitters, nannies and any other adults that might retain responsibility over children.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 226 children were killed in 2011 as a result of a drunk driving accident. Sadly, these car accidents could have been completely avoided had the driver not made the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking.

Negligent, distracted, or drunk drivers can injure or kill children and adults on roads across Kentucky because their reflexes, vision and decision-making skills can all be impaired. If you or a loved one is the victim of such an incident, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney to discuss your options.

Source: Time, “Kids’ Own Drivers, Not Strangers, Are Biggest DUI Death Risk, Study Says,” Dan Hirschhorn, May 5, 2014