In drunk driving crashes that kill children, recent studies show that it is often the child's own driver that was drunk. In light of these findings, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says there needs to be tougher penalties for those who drive drunk with children in the vehicle.
It is common to think that children killed in these tragic accidents are the victims of some third party drunk driver, not their own parent or guardian. But according to this new study, a staggering two-thirds of these children killed were the passengers in a car driven by a drunk driver.
From the year 2001 to 2010:
- 2,344 children were killed in drunk driving crashes
- 1,515 of these children were being transported by a drunk driver
Although these types of child deaths decreased by 41 percent from 2001 to 2010, the fact that these types of crashes are happening at all is still cause for much concern.
According to the president of MADD, driving drunk with a child passenger is "a form of child abuse" that warrants tough penalties.
There is also a terrifying correlation between drunk drivers who transport children and seatbelt use. According to the same study, two-thirds of children who were transported by drunk drivers were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact, further increasing the risk of serious injury and death.
Another shocking statistic produced from this study was that one-third of the drunk drivers transporting child passengers did not have valid driver's licenses at the time of the accident.
There is also a correlation between child endangerment laws and these types of accidents. States with weak child endangerment laws had the highest amount of child deaths caused by drunk drivers per capita. South Dakota and New Mexico came in at the top of this list.
Proposed solutions to combat this problem include:
- Stricter child endangerment laws
- Enforcing minimum drinking ages
- Increasing taxes on alcohol
- Tougher penalties for DUI with child passenger
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers supports efforts to reduce the number of these tragic accidents. If you or someone you love was involved in a drunk driving accident, contact our firm today for a free consultation by calling (888) 612-7001.