Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury among children. In 2008, 972 children, 14 years or younger, died, and approximately 172,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from a motor vehicle crash.

When a crash occurs, there is a sudden change in movement of the vehicle. An occupant who is unrestrained continues on the vehicle's original trajectory and stops when a hard surface is reached. For a young passenger, this could be the dashboard, the window, other hard surface on the interior of the car, or the ground if ejected from the car. As the force of the impact increases, the risk of sustaining a severe injury increases as well, sometimes resulting in long-term disability or death. The speed of ...

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