The Ni TS data show that in the
four-year period spanning 2008
to 2011, non-traffic motor vehicle
crashes killed an estimated 1,043
children ages 14 and younger.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) Subcommittee on Injury
Prevention and Control developed the following statement to support legislation that would
improve safety measures for children in and around cars. With the help of the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, new vehicle safety devices are being designed and
implemented. These devices address back-over and blind spot accidents that lead to an increasing
number of childhood injuries and deaths each year. The COT supports legislation and other
efforts to increase the safety of children in and around cars. This statement was reviewed
and approved by the ACS Board of Regents at its October 2015 meeting in Chicago, IL.
Statement on prevention of non-traffic
vehicle-related injuries in children
The ACS recognizes that injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children, despite the
fact that the means to prevent these injuries are readily
available. In particular, the following data pertain to
children who are injured by motor vehicles when they
are left unattended in or around cars:
•The not-in-traffic surveillance (NiTS) data show that
in the four-year period spanning 2008 to 2011, non-traffic motor vehicle crashes killed an estimated 1,043
children ages 14 and younger. Additionally, an estimated 30,000 children of this age group were injured
in these crashes.
•In 2013, at least 180 children died in non-traffic vehicle-related incidents because adults left them unattended
in or around a vehicle.
•Approximately 24 percent of the deaths that occur
in this situation result from children overheating
while left in a car in hot weather.
•More than 50 percent of the deaths are caused by
a child being run over by a motor vehicle in the
driveway or while the vehicle is backing up. In these
incidents, the driver is usually a parent.