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Texas has high numbers of kids killed in cars with drunk drivers

A study was recently published by a well-known university’s school of medicine regarding car crashes that kill children. The study found that Texas and California had the highest total numbers of children killed while riding with a drunk driver, researchers said. Texas had 272 deaths and California had 135 during the 10- year period that was studied.

Researchers found that two-thirds of the time, a child killed in an alcohol-related crash was a passenger being driven by the intoxicated individual who caused the crash. Researchers looked at U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data of children under age 15 who were killed in a traffic crash between 2001 and 2010. According to the study, there were 2,344 child deaths in drunk driving car accidents between 2001 and 2010. In 1,515 of those cases, the drunk driver had been driving the vehicle that was carrying the child who died.

The study also found that over the course of the 10 years, child deaths involving a drunk driver went down by 41 percent. Even though the child deaths decreased, researchers stressed that hundreds of children still die in car crashes every year, and the study highlighted that those children are very frequently in the same vehicle with the drunk driver. It was also found that almost two-thirds of children in the drunk driver’s car were not buckled into seat belts at the time of the accident.

A spokesperson for a leading organization that seeks to stop drunk driving reportedly said that there is an urgency for additional penalties for those convicted of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. The author of the study agreed, and reportedly said that minimum drinking ages, taxes on alcoholic beverages and stiffer drunk driving laws could be a plan of action that could make states safer for children.

Source:, “In crashes that kill children, it’s their driver who’s often drunk” Dennis Thompson, May. 05, 2014

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