Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a child in the backseat is a horrifying mistake. Is it a crime?
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
This is from 2009 but I came across it just now. So heartbreaking and well written. The thing that struck me the most was how people were so quick to judge and prosecute, and even turn down measures to prevent this. Because it can never happen to them. Until it does. I really hope things have improved since.
“Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?
The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.”Posted on 2022-06-29T19:40:29+0000