In San Diego, there was a tragic accident on Otay Mesa Road, west of Highway 125. Two women were killed and five passengers were injured, including three children, ages 2, 6 and 11. San Diego Police Sgt. Raphael Cimmarrusti says the children were airlifted from the collision scene and the other two adults were transported by ambulance. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 – 14 years of age is motor vehicle accidents (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810803.PDF). Motor vehicle accidents are also the leading cause of acquired disability in children. Children make up approximately 5% of the accident fatalities. Approximately 6 children are killed and 700 children are injured every day in car crashes. Nearly 21% of children that are killed in car accidents die from drivers that are operating vehicles while over the legal blood alcohol level. And nearly half the deceased children that are killed by drunk drivers were intoxicated passengers at the time of the accidents (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm & http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5304a2.htm & http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/2002chdfacts.pdf
Studies support that unrestrained child passengers sustain more serious injury then restrained child passengers. Unrestrained child passengers tend to sustain injury to the head, neck, face, chest and extremities with complex injury patterns. Improperly restrained child passengers, especially the 4 – 9 year old group, tend to sustain abdominal and extremity injuries, including ruptured stomach, lacerated or ruptured spleen and ruptured or contusion of the bowels (American Journal of Public Health, “Morbidity among Pediatric Motor Vehicle Crash Victims: The Effectiveness of Seat Belts; Osberg, J.S. & Di Scala, C., Volume 82, No. 3, March 1992).