Though the number of children killed by alcohol impaired drivers has declined in recent years, there is a trend that remains the same, children being killed by those behind the wheel of the car in which they’re riding. Most people think they are killed by alcohol impaired strangers in other vehicles; not true. According to a new 10-year study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children injured by their own drivers in drinking and driving accidents has been a constant trend in the United States.
The data found that most of the impaired drivers survive the crashes. 2,344 children under the age of 15 were killed in the drunk driving accidents. Two-thirds of those children were riding in the car driven by the drunk driver. Of those accidents, two–thirds of the children were not wearing seat belts or using car seats.
Drunk driving is a threat to public safety, but it is also a real and substantial threat to the safety of child passengers in the U.S. These drivers are impaired to the point that they are not ensuring the safety of their children by strapping them into car seats or making sure they are wearing seat belts.
Based on the findings, researchers suggest increased use of intervention efforts aimed at protecting child passengers from impaired drivers such as sobriety checkpoints, enforcement of “.08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)” laws for adult drivers, zero tolerance BAC laws for drivers under 21-years old, minimum drinking age laws, and increasing the price of alcohol.