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Fewer drunk driving accident deaths involving children

When it comes to drunk driving, every state has a different number of fatal accidents that occur each year. However, one particularly tragic issue relates to the number of children, under 15 years of age, who die in these crashes. While one study suggests that the number of child drunk driving accident deaths declined by about 41 percent during the previous decade, the study also revealed a very alarming and unnerving fact.

Approximately 65 percent of the kids who die because of a DUI driver were actually riding in the vehicle being operated by the person who was drunk. That means that the drivers in these cases were too drunk to care about the safety of the children within their vehicles and/or they made irresponsible decisions. Unfortunately, these drivers' extremely risky decisions have led to the death of numerous children in New Jersey and the rest of the country.

In these cases where children were killed, 61 percent of the time, children were not secured by a seatbelt. Nevertheless, 70 percent of the drivers survived these crashes. What this tells us is that a lot of the accidents were survivable, and if the driver had at least been responsible enough to restrain the children, a significant number of these child deaths could have been avoided.

It is distressing to consider that anyone could be irresponsible while driving a young child. However, cases like these are not uncommon in New Jersey. Parents of children killed because a driver was negligent (including those where a driver failed to require children to wear seat belts or drove drunk with kids in the car) may want to seek justice in the form of financial restitution for their loss in a court of law. While no amount of financial redress (or criminal punishment) could ever resolve the hurt and pain associated with such a situation, successfully pursuing a legal action like this may help the family of a fatal drunk driving accident victim feel they have done everything in their power to hold a wrongdoer fully accountable for their actions.

Source: Reuters, "Drunk driving crashes involving child deaths vary by state", Andrew Seaman, May 5, 2014

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