Child passenger deaths involving drinking drivers--United States, 1997-2002

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Feb 6;53(4):77-9.


Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children aged >/=1 year in the United States, and one in four crash-related deaths among child passengers aged </=14 years involves alcohol use. To characterize the occurrence of child passenger deaths involving drinking drivers during 1997-2002, CDC analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that among the 2,355 children who died in alcohol-related crashes, 1,588 (68%) were riding with drinking drivers; the majority of these children were not restrained. To reduce the number of child fatalities in alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes, effective interventions are needed to prevent alcohol-impaired driving and to increase use of child passenger restraints.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication*
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • United States / epidemiology