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Motor Vehicle Accidents

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Lately, there have been many vehicle accidents involving children. Of course, there are laws that parents must follow when having their children in an automobile, but do they truly care to follow them?

According to the Pennsylvania Safety Laws, “use of proper child car seats is important for your child’s safety. Pennsylvania law requires you to have your child in an appropriate car seat, or you risk a $75 fine.” Although there are rules, there are some parents who do not follow explicit laws concerning the safety of minors in motor vehicles. (www.dmv.org/pa-pennsylvania/safety-laws.php)

The Pennsylvania Safety Laws state, citizens must follow these guidelines when buying a car seat for  children:
•Children under 2 years old must be in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the manufacturer’s maximum weight and height limits.

•Children under 4 years old: Use a federally approved child car seat, appropriate for the height and weight of your child.

•4 to 8 years old: Use a booster seat until your child reaches the height and weight maximum.

Caregivers must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation as well as height and weight restrictions for each car seat. In the state of PA, anyone driving or sitting in the front seat of a car, must wear a seat belt. Those driving with anyone under 8 to 18 years old in the vehicle, must ensure all passengers wear a seat belt at all times, both in the front and back seats. Failure to do so is considered a primary offense, and the driver can face the fines ranging between $10 to $75 plus court fees.  Additional fees accrued surrounding a seat belt violation can tack on up to an additional $95.

Although there are all these punishments that would restrict parents and kids from not following the laws, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed in 2015, while 235,845 teens were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crashes from injuries. In 2013, young people years 15-19 represented 7% of the U.S. population, however, those 7% were accounted for 11% ($10 billion) for the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. If they were to increase the fines, maybe teens and parents would follow the laws more. By making the law more strict, people might begin to cling to safety requirements and understand that automobiles are very dangerous and shouldn’t be regarded casually, (https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html).

In Pennsylvania, motorcycle accidents make up only 2.7% of total crashes, as well as totaling up to 17.4% of fatalities. In 2016, total motorcycle crashes increased by 1.2% from 2015. On the other hand, fatal motorcycle crashes highly increased by 7.3% from 2015. In 2016, of the 192 fatalities involving motorcycle drivers or passengers, 174 (90.6%) were drivers and 18 (9.4%) were passengers. Although wearing helmets, only 4% suffered fatal injuries. Of those who did not wear helmets, 6.4% were killed in crashes. If the law was to make every motorcycle rider  wear helmets, the percentage of injuries and deaths would dramatically decrease, (https://www.edgarsnyder.com/motorcycle-accidents/motorcycle-accident-statistics.html).

It is best to deal with motor vehicle safety now as in the future, the percentages will increase, making it even more dangerous and expensive to ride a automobile.

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About the Writer
Duyen To, Staff Reporter

My name is Duyen, and I am currently 10th a grader. I am an Assistant Editor of the Wingspan. I enjoy sleeping, eating, reading manga, and listening to...

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Motor Vehicle Accidents