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Children Fare Better in Car Crashes if Grandparents Drive

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Children may be safer riding alongside their grandparents than with their parents, according to a new study published Monday in Pediatrics.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that a child's risk of injury from a car crash was significantly lower when their grandparents were behind the wheel.

The study is based on results of an examination of State Farm Insurance claims for car crashes in 15 states between 2003 and 2007. Instead of examining which age group had more crashes, the researchers examined the number of reported injuries and found 1.05 percent of kids were injured riding with their parents compared to 0.70 percent of children riding with grandparents.  That’s a 33 percent lower risk.

The gap for injuries increased to 50 percent when researchers took into account other factors that could affect injuries, including older-model vehicles and not using child-restraining car seats.

As for why the rate of injuries is lower, researchers theorize that perhaps grandparents are more nervous about driving with their grandkids, and as a result, are more cautious when they're behind the wheel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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