Most Crashes Involving Children Occur Close to Home, According to New PCPS Report

The largest study of children in car crashes has found that most motor vehicle crashes that involve children occur 20 minutes or less from home and at speeds of less than 45 mph. The 2005 Partners for Child Passenger Safety Fact and Trend Report released on October 19, 2005, also found that only 12 percent of crashes took place on a divided highway.

Children’s Hospital/State Farm collaboration

Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) is an ongoing research collaboration between The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies.

“Everyone has seen horrific highway crashes on the local evening news, but few may consider that the majority of crashes involving children occur on local roads and in parking lots,” said Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the Children’s Hospital/State Farm report. “Parents must remain vigilant about child passenger safety at all times, using age-appropriate seating and restraints for children 12 and younger.”

Previous studies on car crashes have gathered data mainly on adult occupants.

Nearly a Decade of Data

Among the report’s findings:

  • Eighty percent of crashes took place 20 minutes or less from home.
  • Nearly three out of four crashes (73 percent) happen between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • More than half of crashes occur at speeds less than 45 mph.
  • Only 12 percent of crashes took place on a divided highway.
  • Only 35 percent of crashes took place at an intersection.

Since 1998, more than 370,000 State Farm policyholders have shared auto crash information with researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who use this data to conduct in-depth phone interviews, gathering real-life crash data from each case to determine the best ways to protect children in crashes. This claims information represents 557,000 State Farm-insured children under age 16 who were involved in crashes in vehicles of model year 1990 or newer.

Leading Cause of Death in Children

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of children older than age one in the United States. Parents can reduce the risk of serious injury more than three-fold by following guidelines for age- and size-appropriate restraint. The combination of rear seating (for children age 12 and younger) and appropriate restraint use reduces the risk of injury to less than 2 percent.

For more information

To learn more about guidelines for age- and size-appropriate restraint for children, visit www.chop.edu/carseat.

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Source: Partners for Child Passenger Safety, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, October 2005.

Last updated: 31 October, 2013

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