Safe Kids Worldwide Statement Regarding New DUI Child Endangerment Study
From Torine Creppy, president, Safe Kids Worldwide
Study shows how drunk driving impacts children and the importance of proper child restraints
February 6, 2024 – Silver Spring, MD - Safe Kids Worldwide President Torine Creppy issued the following statement in support of a new study called “Child Passenger Deaths in Traffic Crashes Involving Alcohol-Impaired Drivers: 2011-2020.” The study was published today in Pediatrics.
On behalf of Safe Kids Worldwide and our network of more than 400 coalitions, I want to thank the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for releasing a new study in Pediatrics that highlights the problem of DUI child endangerment.
DUI has long been a leading killer on the roadways causing almost a third of all highway fatalities and injuries. According to this new study, “Of the nearly 8,000 child passengers who died in motor vehicle crashes from 2011 to 2020, one in five victims died in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. In most cases, the young person killed was in the same vehicle as an impaired driver.”
These numbers are alarming. Drunk driving is completely preventable and should not be tolerated at any time, especially with a child in the car. Data from the report show that progress has stalled in the effort to prevent DUI deaths and injuries. This is unacceptable given that effective countermeasures exist to prevent drunk driving.
Safe Kids Worldwide is proud to be a leader in child passenger safety. In 2023, more than 38,000 Safe Kids Child Passenger Safety Technicians across the U.S. checked 23,276 car seats, distributed 8,518 seats to kids in need, and provided education to more than 153,000 children and caregivers. Ensuring your child is buckled up and using a properly-fitting car or booster seat is the best defense against any type of vehicle crash, including those involving drunk drivers.
Safe Kids Worldwide is pleased to support the recommendations in the study, which call for expanded use of ignition interlock devices and strong programs for repeat drunk driving offenders.
In addition, we will continue to work together with partners such as the AAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make sure that every child has access to the proper car seat and that it is used and installed correctly.