It’s almost cliche, when discussing homicide and mortality, to note that you’re more likely to get killed in or by a car than by a gun. For children in Illinois, however, that hasn’t been true in recent years. While reading up on DCFS, I came across the department’s reports from its Illinois Child Death Review Teams, which list the causes of death for all children in Illinois 17 and younger, for counties that report data. A decade ago, more children did in fact die in car crashes than by firearms. In 2009 and 2010, the most recent data the CDRT has reported, that wasn’t the case, in part because the number of deaths from firearms increased substantially from 2005-2010 (the vast majority are homicides):
Here’s a breakdown from 2002:
This pattern held true until 2008, when deaths by firearm exceeded those in traffic crashes:
That pattern remained in the two following years:
Meanwhile, the number of child deaths in vehicle crashes declined from 2006 with a small increase from 2009-2010, following recession-era patterns:
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of firearm deaths are children 15-17.