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Children face surprising fatality risk in alcohol-related crashes

It's very painful to even imagine the thought of losing a loved one at a young age. At that point in life, children have so much more to learn and accomplish. This is why fatal motor vehicle accidents involving children feel especially tragic.

At a young age, children typically look to adults to provide safety and security. However, unfortunate data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that children's expectations aren't always met with reality.

Based on motor vehicle accident data from 2012, the most recent year available, children accounted for 1,168 of the nation's traffic fatalities. The NHTSA defines children as people who are 14 years of age or younger. To put this in perspective, the number of fatalities among children represents 3 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States.

As additional context for the frequency of children being involved in auto accidents, the NHTSA indicates that an average of three children die and 462 others are injured in car accidents every day.

Perhaps the most surprising element of the NHTSA crash data on children is just how many of the fatalities are the result of an alcohol-influenced crash. After all, many might be wondering how many situations are children 14 and younger in a situation to be exposed to drunk drivers. According to the statistics, 20 percent of all auto accident fatalities involving children were related to alcohol. Generally speaking, children are pedestrians or bicyclists when involved in drunk driving accidents.

Such young, promising lives shouldn't be brought to an early end by the irresponsible behavior of other drivers. Knowing the difficulty that follows a fatal accident, loved ones may be able to find a way forward by understanding their legal rights.

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