Child Hit by Car: Updated Statistics

child hit by car statistics

Car accidents involving children are an unfortunate reality that deeply impacts families and communities. Even a minor collision can result in severe injuries or fatalities for young children. Recent statistics paint a sobering picture of traffic incidents involving our most vulnerable road users, especially in Texas, which tops the list as the most dangerous state for kids in cars.

These preventable tragedies have far-reaching effects. Beyond physical harm, child car accidents inflict tremendous emotional trauma on families. They also carry legal implications that can be difficult for grieving parents and caretakers to navigate alone.

Injury Statistics: Child Hit by Cars

Each year, thousands of children suffer serious injuries or lose their lives because of car accidents across the United States. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2021 alone. Of those fatalities, 1,184 were children aged 14 or younger.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, an estimated 162,298 children suffered injuries from car crashes in 2021. That equates to an average of 445 children being injured every single day on America’s roadways.

Other troubling statistics include:

  • 30% of 0–3-year-olds fatally injured in crashes were not buckled in appropriately.
  • 36% of 8–12-year-olds fatally injured in crashes were not wearing safety restraints.
  • 629 incidents occurred involving children who were walking and biking on Houston streets from 2018-2023.
  • From these incidents, 159 children suffered serious injuries.

Leading Causes of Child Injuries in Car Accidents

Child car accidents can often be attributed to negligent driving behaviors. The most common causes include:

  • Distracted Driving: Drivers talking on the phone, texting, eating, or otherwise not paying full attention to the road greatly increases the risks to child pedestrians and children in other vehicles. Children’s small size and unpredictable movements make them especially vulnerable to drivers not seeing them in time.
  • Speeding: Drivers exceeding speed limits reduce their ability to see and react to children near or crossing the road. High speeds also increase the severity of injuries when collisions occur.
  • Drunk Driving: Intoxicated drivers have delayed reaction times and impaired judgment, making them unable to appropriately respond to children on or near the road.
  • Backing Up: Limited visibility when backing up vehicles leads to tragic accidents with small children. Drivers must be especially cautious and aware of their surroundings when reversing.

By addressing these negligent driving practices through education and awareness, many accidents can be prevented. Drivers should be alert, sober, and focused when behind the wheel.

Legal Implications of Child Car Accidents​​

In the wake of a child car accident, families face not only the emotional and physical toll but also the overwhelming challenge of seeking justice and compensation. Personal injury lawyers play an indispensable role in this process, offering legal experience and support to families affected by such traumatic events.

With a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in establishing liability and negligence, these legal professionals can guide families through the intricacies of filing claims and pursuing cases for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and, in tragic instances, wrongful death.

They work tirelessly to ensure that families receive the financial support necessary for the child’s recovery and future well-being. Working with a car accident injury lawyer offers families a pathway to hold responsible parties accountable, securing the compensation and justice critical for facilitating healing and closure.

Safety Measures: Protecting the innocent

Children face unique risks as pedestrians and passengers in vehicles. Their small size makes them difficult for drivers to see, and their unpredictable behavior can lead them into dangerous situations. As caretakers, parents play a critical role in keeping kids safe on and around roads. Here are some tips for parents to help protect child pedestrians and passengers:

  • Educate children early on traffic safety. Teach them to look both ways before crossing, only cross at corners or crosswalks, and follow traffic signals. Roleplay scenarios to reinforce safe behavior.
  • Set a good example by modeling safe behavior as a pedestrian yourself. Use crosswalks, avoid distraction, and follow signals. Children learn from observing you.
  • Show them appropriate passenger behavior as well, including wearing seatbelts and not distracting the driver.
  • Make sure kids hold an adult’s hand in parking lots and near roads. Don’t allow them to walk alone until you’ve determined they’re responsible enough.
  • Ensure children wear bright, reflective clothing to increase visibility. At night, provide them with flashlights or glow sticks.
  • Properly secure children in age-appropriate car seats and boosters. Check installation for tightness. Never leave them unattended.
  • Avoid distractions while driving with kids. Don’t use your phone, and keep music low so you can fully focus on the road.
  • Teach children to enter and exit vehicles on the curbside for protection from traffic. Supervise them closely.

With vigilance and education, parents can greatly reduce the risks children face as pedestrians and passengers. Following these tips will help keep kids safe and prevent tragic accidents.

Traffic Laws and Guidelines Specific to Child Safety

School zones are areas around schools where special traffic laws apply to protect child pedestrians. These laws include reduced speed limits, restrictions on distracted driving, and increased fines for violations.

In school zones, speed limits are typically reduced to 15 mph during hours when children are arriving or leaving school.

In addition to reduced speed limits and limited distractions, many school zones have crossing guards, increased signage and warning beacons, and even camera enforcement of traffic laws. These measures all aim to modify driver behavior and boost compliance with laws meant to protect children.

The Impact on Families: Finding Support

A child being injured in a car accident has immense emotional and financial impacts on the entire family. Parents face significant financial strain from medical bills and time off work to care for their injured child, and the costs of hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation services, specialized equipment, and ongoing care can be astronomical.

The child and/or their siblings, as well as the rest of the family, may experience anxiety about the accident and confusion over the disruption to their normal routine, making it very important to seek help after a car accident.

Seeking Compensation and Justice

In such moments, the pursuit of compensation and justice becomes a crucial step towards healing and rebuilding. This process can feel overwhelming, underscoring the importance of having compassionate and skilled legal representation.

The Callahan Law Firm has a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding car accident cases involving children and can offer a compassionate approach to navigating the legal system. Our commitment is not just about seeking the full compensation families deserve but also about providing genuine support, helping families understand their rights, and walking them through every step of the legal process.

Contact The Callahan Law Firm For Help With a Child Car Accident

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident involving a child can be exceptionally challenging, both emotionally and legally. The Callahan Law Firm is here to support injured parties and their families through this difficult time with empathy, experience, and a commitment to securing the best possible outcome for our clients. By choosing to work with our experienced legal team, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you and your child are adequately compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the accident. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our child car accident attorneys.


How many car accidents occur each year in Texas?

In Texas, there were 552,224 car crashes in 2021, and 239,709 people were injured.

What state has the most car accidents?

Texas typically records the most car accidents compared to any other state in the U.S.

What is the number one cause of car crashes in Texas?

The leading cause of car crashes in Texas is drunk driving, with speeding and distracted driving also being significant contributors.