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Good News: Child Car Crash Deaths Are Down

Children travelling in car
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

We've all heard the statistic: More people die in car crashes every year than plane crashes. The odds that you'll die on a plane is 11 million to 1 ... but it's just 5,000 to 1 for car crashes. That's why it's so shocking that many people still don't buckle up.

But it's getting better, and more people—especially parents—are considering safety first on the road.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed child deaths (12 years old or younger) from car crashes between 2002 and 2011; there's been a 43 percent decrease over the decade!

Of course, there could be multiple factors, including better technology, increased protection for passengers in the backseat and seat belt usage.

While this number is encouraging, the director at the CDC did note, "The tragic news is still with that decrease; more than 9,000 kids were killed on the road in this period."

What's worse is that one in three of those deaths could have been prevented if the child had been wearing a seat belt. While there has been an overall increase in people wearing their belts (from 88 to 91 percent), older children still often opt out.

The problem can sometimes be traced back to mom and dad, though. If you're not wearing a belt, chances are your kids won't either. And, if they aren't used to it from a very early age, they'll never get used to it. Your best option? Buckle up all the time, and make sure your kids do, too. You don't want anyone in your car becoming a statistic!

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