Child passengers injured in motor vehicle crashes

J Safety Res. 2015 Feb;52:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2014.10.001. Epub 2014 Oct 23.


Introduction: During 2010, 171,000 children aged 0-14 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Despite the severity of the problem, research has been limited, and most of what we know about these children emanates from fatal crash databases.

Method: Using information from the General Estimates System, this effort examines the occurrence of non-fatal crashes among children aged 0-14 over the last decade.

Results: We found that about 1% of the non-injured children in the file had been driven by a driver who was positive for alcohol. This percentage climbed to about 2% among children who had suffered injuries. Compared with the proportion of alcohol-positive drivers at the time of the crash, the proportion of drivers who sped or failed to obey a traffic signal was significantly higher.

Practical applications: The finding that drinking and driving with children did not decrease over time questions the adequacy of the extant child endangerment laws.

Keywords: Alcohol; Child endangerment; Non-fatal crashes; Speeding; Traffic signs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child Restraint Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*