September 25, 2017
In the United States, 2016 was a deadly year for car related fatalities. This is impressive considering how much safer cars are today. Over 40,000 Americans died last year alone. This is a sobering statistic that we need to pay attention to.
When it comes to safe driving, we have a major problem now, cell phones! Distracted driving is rapidly becoming the greatest risk to us all. Never a day goes by that a person is not looking at their phone and driving away.
Unfortunately, we cannot control our neighbor, however, we can control ourselves. Being alert to your surroundings while driving increases the chances that you can avoid a distracted driver. Using any and all safety devices in your car is another important avenue to safety.
Lane changing warnings, radar speed control braking systems, air bags, seat belts and car seats are all there to protect your family. Proper use is key. I routinely use my radar braking system to avoid wrecks.
In a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics from July 13, 2017, the authors noted that 38% of less than 2 year olds were following the rear facing guidelines. This is a big deal as the safety of forward facing seats at this age is significantly less.
Following the manufacturer's recommendations is also important as these seats are tested repeatedly in the proper use fashion. Read the manual thoroughly.
As children age, many parents are letting their children into booster seats too early. This puts children at risk for seat belt related injuries. Children have become neurologically devastated when they were hung by the seat belt during a car wreck. If a child is too young for the booster seat, they can slip into a position where the seat belt can strangle.their neck. Tragic.
Another big issue is driver side front seat airbag injury and death. Young children sitting in the front seat at too young of an age are at significant risk for injury from the airbag deployment. Children should be 13 years old before even considering letting them out of the chauffeur seat. Height for an adult seat belt should be 4 foot 9 inches. Look at this CDC site for details.
Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck).
The ROI on understanding the safety rules is un-measurable. Please read the below studies if you have children or grandchildren as passengers in your car.