Nontraffic Collisions and Children: Northern California Child Injury Lawyer on Car Accidents in Driveways, Lots, and Similar Locations

Tragedies involving children are particularly difficult to comprehend and the mere thought of a car accident killing or injuring a child is enough to send a shiver down any parent’s spine.  While statistics show that children are safer than ever on the road, a surprising number of car accidents involving children occur in driveways and other private spaces.  So-called nontraffic crashes involving children are terrible to contemplate, but discussing them is crucial to preventing future tragedies and obtaining justice for the victims of these incidents.  Our Oakland child injury lawyer is dedicated to both fights.

Toddler Killed as Car Pulls onto Road in Richmond

This week, the Oakland Tribune provided additional details about an accident on January 28 that led to the death of a young girl.  It was around 2:25 PM in Richmond when a man was getting ready to leave his home on the 300 block of Beck Street near South 35 Street.  As he pulled away in his truck, he tragically hit and killed a two-year-old girl.  Police suspect the toddler was chasing after her father to say goodbye when she was hit and say they do not believe he saw the child before hitting her.

Creating a More Accurate Picture of Child Car Accident Victims

In general terms, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that car accident deaths for children under 13 have decreased 78 percent since 1975.  The IIHS lists a total of 3,643 child car accident deaths in 1975 compared to 939 in 2013 (side note: we think even one is too many!).  Even more dramatically, the rate of child pedestrian fatalities dropped 89 percent.  This is great news, but it is also an incomplete picture.

It was only with the passing of a new law in 2007 that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been charged with collecting data on so-called “nontraffic crashes.”  These are accidents that occur off public traffic ways including accidents in driveways, private roads, and parking facilities.  In 2014, the NHTSA published “Not-in-Traffic Surveillance: Child Fatality and Injury in Nontraffic Crashes—2008 to 2011 Statistics” looking specifically at nontraffic incidents involving victims aged 14 years and younger.  On average, from 2008 to 2011, 221 non-occupant children and 40 occupant children died each year in nontraffic incidents.  Breaking the non-occupant figure down further, an average of 104 children were killed by front-moving vehicles, 95 by rear-moving vehicles, 7 in rollaway crashes (i.e. no driver in the vehicle), and 15 in other forms of nontraffic crashes each year.  Additionally, an average of around 8,000 children were injured in non-traffic incidents each year, including 60% who were vehicle occupants and 40% who were outside of the vehicle involved in the incident.

Nontraffic crashes are particularly dangerous to the youngest of children.  In the study years, a full 84% of non-occupant children who died in nontraffic crashes were aged 4 years or younger.  For occupant child fatalities in these off-road crashes, there was a fairly close split between children aged 0-to-4-years (46%) and 5-to-14-years (54%), although that still reflects a higher tendency for young children to be the victims in these incidents.

A Child Injury Lawyer in San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa

Children are our most precious resource.  Drivers must always be on the lookout for children, remembering both their small stature and inability to fully appreciate the consequences of their actions.  If your child was injured or killed in a car accident, whether on the road or in a nontraffic location like a driveway or parking lot, we can help you get the compensation your family needs and deserves.  Call our Oakland law firm for child car accident victims to learn more.

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