According to an annual report from the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, the rate of child deaths saw a five percent decrease from 2007 to 2008, including a sharp decline in the number of fatal personal injuries suffered by youths in car and bicycle crashes.
The report says that the death rate for children below the age of 18 was 71 per 100,000, which marks a decrease of 33 percent since 1991, when the task force was started.
According to task force co-chairman Tom Vitaglione, he believes increased state money and increased safety legislation, in addition to more attentive parents, were factors in the decrease.
The report said that between 2007 and 2008, fatal car crashes saw a decline of 10 percent. This could be due to higher gas prices and less frequent travel, but could also be due to graduated drivers’ licenses and child safety seats.
There were only three bicycle-related deaths reported last year, marking the lowest recorded number ever in North Carolina. Deaths had risen to 18 per year before helmets were required for riders below the age of 16.