According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the number of deaths of children younger than 13 in motor vehicle crashes totaled 602 in 2014. Of this number, 69% were passenger vehicle occupants, 19% were pedestrians, and 4% were bicyclists.
Most of these vehicle crash deaths occur among children traveling as passenger vehicle occupants.
Not using proper restraints including car seats and seat belts significantly increases risk of child fatal injury in motor vehicle accidents.
It is recommended that children aged 12 and younger ride in the rear seats of vehicles.
In 2014, 15% of passenger vehicle child occupant deaths occurred in front seats.
All infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing child seats until they are 2 years old or until they reach height and weight limits of their child restraints.
Once they outgrow rear-facing restraints, children should ride in a harness-equipped forward-facing child restraint for as long as possible, again up to the height and weight restrictions. Top tethers should be used in a forward-facing a child seat.
When children outgrow child restraints, they should use belt-positioning booster seats until adult safety belts fit properly.
Restraining children in rear seats as opposed to front seats can reduce fatal injury risk for almost 75% of children up to the age of 3 and almost 50% of children ages 4 to 8.