I’m not a violent man, but there are a few things that make me want to punch someone in the neck.
One of these things is a parent who doesn’t strap their kids in while in the car. Over the weekends, when families tend to have their outings, I keep seeing children bouncing around on the back seat. The parents don’t seem to mind. As long as the kids are happy and out of their hair, who cares if they’re strapped in?
I’ve looked into this subject once before, and since then I’ve been a pain in the bum about safety belts. If you get in my car, you put your belt on. If you don’t, I drop you by the side of the road. As such, many people I know tend to put their safety belt on immediately upon entering my car. The only thing I hate more than people not strapping in, is drunk driving, but that’s a subject for another day.
Baby seats are a hot topic in my house at the moment, because my first is due in two short weeks. The seat – I think it’s called a Graco something or other – will be carrying my most precious possession, so I did more research into baby seats than my last dissertation at varsity.
There are loads of things to consider, but they all basically do the same job. A crash is never going to be a nice experience for a young child, but a baby seat gives him/her the best chance at survival.
During my research, I came across a crash impact research video on YouTube. It clearly shows what happens to a child that’s strapped down in a baby seat and one that isn’t. As you can imagine, the unstrapped child rockets through the front video like a small 3,0kg flesh missile. I’m not trying to be funny, but I want you to imagine that image in your mind. That’s enough motivation for me to strap my child in, even if we’re just driving the 300m to the corner café.
Yes, it is a tedious exercise getting the seat and the baby in and out every single time. I know, because I’ve just spent a whole weekend practicing getting our baby seat in and out of a Subaru Forester. It’s a great baby seat car by the way, as it’s just the right height and it’s easy enough to find the anchors.
It takes time getting the seat in and out, but whenever I get exhausted, I just imagine that horrific accident and my batteries are recharged immediately.
I know some people may not have the financial means to pay R6000 for a proper baby seat, but I made a note to check the cars of all the people who allowed their children to bounce around unattended. I was shocked to note that most of the cars were quite fancy, so their owners couldn’t use the “I didn’t have enough money” excuse. And, if you really don’t have the means to pay for a seat, there are a few non-profits out there who’ll be able to help you out.
Need more motivation than that? Check out the crash test video below.