Eight unrestrained children between the ages of 5 and 15 were injured in a Charlotte car accident and were transported to CMC on Monday after the car they were passengers in went through a red light, crashing into a car in the right-of-way. Tonya Hamilton was issued traffic violations for No Insurance, No Child Restraint, No Inspection, and Revoked Tag, and police charged her with causing the accident by disregarding traffic signals. Independent witnesses observed Ms. Hamilton run the red light at the intersection of Nations Ford Road and Arrowood Road at an estimated 35mph.
Police found that 7 of the children were in the second and third rows of the SUV Hamilton was driving, yet those rows are only intended to accommodate 6 passengers. Police also found that there were no child booster seats, no child restraint systems, nor any visible lap belts for any of the children.
North Carolina law requires that children under the age of 8 and less than 80 pounds to be secured in a weight-appropriate child passenger system, and all other passengers under the age of 16 to be secured in a child passenger restrain system of seat belt that meets federal standards. In fact, North Carolina law requires all occupants of a moving vehicle, regardless of their position in the car, to have a seatbelt properly fastened about their body.
Car Crashes the Leading Cause of Death in Children Over the Age of Three
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States for children over the age of three. NHTSA has published an easy to follow guide on the age appropriate restraints for children. NHTSA estimates that nearly 3 out of 4 parents are using their child restraints incorrectly. For a child safety restraint system inspection near you, click here.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Benn