CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study finds that the number of children killed by drunken motorists has declined substantially in recent years, but the biggest threat remains their own drivers.
The data show most impaired drivers survived these crashes, suggesting many kids might have survived if they'd been wearing seat belts or using car seats.
Researchers analyzed traffic deaths data from 2000 to 2010 and found that more than 2,300 passengers younger than 15 were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. Two-thirds were riding in cars driven by drunken drivers, but those cases declined by 40 percent during the decade.
Texas and California had the most deaths among kids riding with drunken drivers, but rates were higher in smaller, less populous states.
Almost two-thirds of kids who died while riding with drunken drivers were not wearing seat belts. And many of the drivers had no valid license.