South Dakota Part of ‘Car Death Belt’, Among Worst States for Child Deaths in Accidents
South Dakota roads can be quite deadly, especially for the youngest among us.
The website Fatherly is quoting new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the Mount Rushmore State as one of the eight worst states in the country for the rate childhood fatalities in automobile accidents. South Dakota joins Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Mississippi, Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming as the states where juvenile deaths rates are higher than 15 per every 100,000 people.
The South Dakota-Wyoming-Montana and Arkansas-Mississippi-Alabama corridors have been dubbed 'Car Death Belts' by safety experts. There are a number of theories as to the concentration of deaths in these areas. Some point to depressed economic factors, a lack population density, or even higher speed limits on rural highways.
The numbers reveal that car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children in the United States and that boys are two times as likely to die as girls in those accidents.
More populated states like California, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts have some of the lowest car accident-related death rates for children in America.
The CDC is calling on parents to buckle children in car seats, booster seats, and seat belts, citing data that the use of restraints reduces the risk for death to infants by 71 percent, and to toddlers by 54 percent. They also encourage drivers to slow down, points to numerous studies that show speed is the main factor in most fatal crashes.