Transportation

More Kids Die in Drunk Driving Wrecks In Texas

Study says young victims are usually riding with the impaired driver.

A new study shows more children are killed in drunk driving wrecks in Texas compared to other parts of the country, and the young victims are usually riding in the vehicle with the impaired driver.

A study in the journal “Pediatrics” analyzes government crash statistics from 2001-2010. Reseachers say over that decade, the number of children killed in DWI crashes went down by 41 percent.

But traffic accidents are still a leading cause of child deaths in the U.S. In about 20 percent of those cases, at least one driver is legally drunk.

Northwestern University’s Dr. Kyran Quinlan says in most DWI fatalities involving children, the young victim is in the car with the drunk driver.

“We found again that the more a driver had been drinking, the higher their blood alcohol level, the more likely it was that the child who died in their own vehicle was not even buckled up,” he said.

Quinlan says they also looked at who was driving drunk when a child was killed. 

“The age difference is always much more along the lines of a caregiver, a parent or another adult caregiver of the child,” he said.

The study showed 272 children were killed in drunk driving wrecks in Texas over that ten-year period, more than any other state. 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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