A new report from the Department of Health Services says 894 Arizona children died last year, and over a third of the deaths were preventable. Mary Ann Cunningham of DHS says traffic accidents were among the main causes because of restraint issues.
“We need to stress that every child gets in the car and puts their seat belt on,” Cunningham said. “Actually the numbers of children who died this past year from car crashes, a good number of them were the older children, ten and older.”
Preventable? Many of these likely are. As these kids are not in the cars by themselves, drivers and adults MUST be more diligent. In Arizona, the driver of a motor vehicle and the front passenger must be belted. In addition, the driver is responsible to make sure that all kids 16 and under are belted, no matter where they are in the vehicle.
Regardless of who causes an auto accident, if children in the car are injured, and the injuries can be blamed in part on the lack of seat belt use, then the driver of the vehicle they are in may also share fault for the injuries. This falls under Arizona's law on comparative fault.