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Why is Merchandise the only consideration concerning Auto Safety?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I’ve been wondering about the issues concerning Auto Safety, especially why the discussions always seem to revolve around what we can BUY to make automobile travel safer for our kids. I’m frequently involved in discussions with parents about which type of car is best, which brand car seat is safest, or what other gadgets (yes, gadgets…I saw one last week) can be used to increase auto safety.

So, here’s my gripe…Why aren’t we talking about limiting the time in the car? Not only does it have many, many, many other benefits but not driving the car in the first place is the only way to ensure that your kids not be injured in an auto accident.

I know that lengthy or frequent car rides are a necessity for some and to those, I TOTALLY understand why you would focus on all aspects of car safety, including the safest/best cars and car seats. I just wanted to say that because my intention is not to put anyone on the defensive. I am partially on the defensive, here so I wouldn’t want to add anyone else to the list.

I guess I’m motivated to write this because sometimes I feel I am perceived as being a careless mother because car seat/auto safety is not a huge issue for me. But it is a big issue for me but I focus on it in a different way; by reducing time in the car.

I have, proudly, gotten time spent in the down to less than an hour/week in the car! But I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like I’m a holier than thou type. I’m not…I’ve reduced time in the car to makeup for some big auto safety taboos!
I’ll confess if the mood is right.

I have a few more thoughts on this but wonder if anyone would like to join me to discuss before I bring them up.
post #2 of 51
Well we choose to raise our children out in the country so they can have fresh air and lots of room to run and explore ect.

Because of that we live 13 miles from town, 83 miles from where we do all our shopping.


I beleive we can get hurt doing anything, but am I going to restrict my kids from doing xyz because they 'might' get hurt? NO
I will just teach them to be carefull and use good judgement. And using good judgemant means driving a car you feel safe in, not driving late at night when there a bigger % of drunks ect.

So will I cut down the time we spend in a car? NO

I truely think carseats are over rated and I also think they need to be more padded.
doning flame proof suit
post #3 of 51
Hmmmmmm.......well, I agree with you. But, in reality, kids are in cars a lot, so I think that even if you reduce car time, the fact is, they are still in one, so it's best to make sure the car/car seats are safe.

I actually wonder more about why cars aren't made safely to begin with, and why auto manufactures aren't held to a high safety standard. Okay, well, I know the answer is money. But it does really upset me that unsafe cars are even manufactured, when making them safe (or safer) isn't a huge deal. Sigh.

I am one who is trying to cut down on using the car; but I also live a car lifestlye.....I love to travel cross country, and I love to drive.

What are car alternatives? A bus without seat belts? Bike riding works, if the weather is good. Walking, too, if you aren't doing any heavy shopping.

Kristi
post #4 of 51
Yes and no. I live less than a mile from a library and several grocery stores. I don't know how many parents make 2-3 trips a day to grab milk, eggs, or other forgotten item. I can actually walk my 3 children walking to the pantry in less than 5 minutes (We are that close)

I ask myself it would be easier and quicker to walk.

I do think we can and should do things to reduce car useage but not just for safety. It is just an added enviormental benifit.
post #5 of 51
I live close, but not close enough to grocery stores, the bank, etc. i live in a no busing school district, but still, a mile and a half when its blowing snow (i live in Colorado) is too far. so i drive, probably too much for my own good.

However, even if i was in the car an hour or less a week, i would have the safest carseat available to my child.

Alot can happen in an hour. and carseats are not overrated. I work in an emergency room, and too often see the devastation and tragedy that happens when children arent strapped in. Ive seen too many dead children to count. Of course, carseats cant prevent every death or injury. But i wouldnt take my chances.

Still, less time in the car can only be a good thing!
post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
Just to be 100% clear, my intention is not to suggest that the safety of cars and carseats shouldn’t be a concern for parents.

My idea is just that that is not the end all solution to the terrible statistics involving children and automobiles. I didn’t want to direct this at any individual parent because I know that everyone has individual circumstances. My gripe was much more directed at auto safety campaigns and the current atmosphere surrounding carseat safety.

What I’m getting at is that I resent that a driver of a super save car with a center mounted super safe carseat is perceived to care more about their child’s safety than I am. I have felt this vibe many times. It usually comes through with words like, “Well, I really care about my kid’s safety” or “Safety comes first in our family”. I don’t know, am I crazy or does this not come off as if I don’t care about my kid’s safety if I don’t buy these things?

Sometimes I wonder if the reason they don’t push for less time in the car is because they really want us in the car. “They” (don’t ask…I’m new to conspiracy theories) want us driving and buying.
post #7 of 51
I think I see your point. I have many times been ofended by the
Quote:
It usually comes through with words like, “Well, I really care about my kid’s safety” or “Safety comes first in our family”.
comments. This usually because we have spent our parenting lives driving older, smaller vehicles. Can be very annoying. I've especially heard the talk among men. Almost like they are boasting to my DH and putting him down because we want to avoid the gas guzzlers and car loans.

(I must confess however that we just had to buy something bigger and newer due to the arrival of number 3. Multiple car seats just don't fit in every vehicle! It was quite a challange to finding one that worked be wasn't excessive in either size or price.)
post #8 of 51
Sometimes I wonder if the reason they don’t push for less time in the car is because they really want us in the car. “They” (don’t ask…I’m new to conspiracy theories) want us driving and buying

Well, duh! Sorry, I couldn't resist! OF COURSE "they" (being the car manufacturers and the other businesses out there that sell things) want us driving and buying. That's what commercialism and business are about! You don't make any money if people don't buy anything. As for the gadgets available, some DO add to the safety of driving and some just make the ride easier or more comfortable. I don't see any mass conspiracies in this. It's finding what many consumers want, and making it available to them. Don't like the gadgets, don't buy 'em.

What I’m getting at is that I resent that a driver of a super save car with a center mounted super safe carseat is perceived to care more about their child’s safety than I am. I have felt this vibe many times. It usually comes through with words like, “Well, I really care about my kid’s safety” or “Safety comes first in our family”. I don’t know, am I crazy or does this not come off as if I don’t care about my kid’s safety if I don’t buy these things?

I think you are getting a bit carried away here. We just bought a new car in order for ds to remain in that center spot for as long as possible because WE feel that this is the safest place for him when riding in a car. With this vehicle, he can do that for years and years!). We have but one child and can afford to do this.

Do we think that people with more kids and, perhaps, less money, don't care about their children as much if they don't do the same? Of course not! People must do what is right for THEIR families, and not worry about what someone else thinks.

Now, if you go around with your kids in the front seat or skip using seatbelts because you're just going for a short drive or hold your child unsecured while driving or being a passenger, then YES, you do NOT care about your children's safety. The same could be said for not putting sunscreen or hats on your kids when you walk them to the store on a hot August day or not teaching them to swim if you have a pool or live near water.

Safety IS an issue. And, sadly, one that is often ignored by too many parents.

Leslie
post #9 of 51
We chose our location based on our desire to stay out of cars as much as possible. We told our realtor we needed to be within 10 blocks of our downtown so we'd be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, the library and bookstores. Our preschool is 1 1/2 blocks away. Dh rides his bike to work. We sometimes walk into town 3 times a day for various things. But I still have the safest booster seat you can buy and use it in the safest manner possible with the utmost attention to detail. It only takes one second (or one idiot driver) to change or end a life. I see nothing wrong with minimizing the risks. It doesn't have to be "either/or".

<rant>My peeve is the people who buy all the safety stuff but drive like selfish fools. Where did these people learn to drive and do they have any idea how dangerous they are?? To them:
Use your mirrors, turn your head to look, stop behind the line, look both ways, hang up the phone, put your hands on the wheel, make eye contact with other drivers, stop for pedestrians, observe the laws, and acknowledge that you're driving a giant weapon. All the metal and plastic in the world can't save you (or the rest of us) from yourself!!!</rant>

Oooh, that was cleansing.
post #10 of 51
Thread Starter 
As I reread my posts I can see why some of you think that I’m talking about an either/or type thing. I really didn’t want this to be about that.

When momto l&a said that she thought carseats were overrated, I think I know what she means. Carseats are overrated if people think that carseats alone are the solution to the problem of so many kids being injured in car accidents.

sweetbaby3, I wonder how many children you see at the hospital who were strapped in? What has got me me thinking about this was a tragedy in my hometown where a mother got into an accident while driving over a patch of ice. The mother and one child died and the other was seriously injured. ALL were strapped in properly and the car was considered on of the safest brands.

I know that some of you may have attended some infant and child safety public awareness programs or those carseat installation checks. Was reducing driving brought up?

My other ideas are making the roads safer in general. Thank you sohappy, I totally agree with your rant! And on the rant note, why does it always seem that the people driving aggressively around me are in big huge cars, thus quadrupling the danger of them crashing into me?

(OFF TOPIC: sohappy, do you mind telling us where you live? It sounds very nice. I'm in Heidelberg and we don't NEED to drive at all. I love that aspect of our town)

Also, I wonder if driving on safer roads would not be a possible solution. I know that when we lived in Santa Cruz, we drove the two lane coastal road to get everywhere. The speed on that road never goes over 30 miles/hour. It was when we were going start traveling over a dangerous commuter road that I really considered limiting that kind of driving.

Someone mentioned not driving at night. How about during high road rage and high speed times of day? What about limiting driving during bad weather? I remember being a kid and being snowed in! I was just in the US during a snow storm and everyone was out and driving thanks to big cars and a fast passed lifestyle.

And another person mentioned, installing seatbelts on busses to broaden the appeal to more parents.

And, yes, as so many of you mentioned the various environmental, cultural and physical advantages of just not driving as much should definitely be considered…always!
post #11 of 51
Moving this to Parenting Issues.
post #12 of 51
statisically (and physically) buses without seatbelts still have a lower injury/fatality rate than cars with carseats. A vehicle with that much mass absorbs a great deal of the impact. Plus being driven by a professionally licensed driver, and usually at lower speeds. So choosing a car over a public bus is a matter of personal perception more than actual safety.

articles that suggest limiting car seat time for newborns and preemies: due to oxygen sat. levels and apnea when in upright car seat or similar baby equipment. they suggest considering this issue in redesigning car restraints.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1526517.stm (lay article)
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml (ped journal articles.)

I totally support driving less as a safety measure in addition to car seats. Plus dd hates the car, so it helps encourage it.
post #13 of 51
IdentityCrisisMama, do you put your child in a carseat when you ARE in a car?

BTW, reducing "car time" is not an option for some people. I live in the country, in the woods. We are 15 miles from the nearest stores that we need to go to. Even if those stores were closer, it is not safe to walk on the roads (curvy roads, no sidewalks, etc). Also, I live in a cold climate; for half the year, it is far too cold to subject a baby (or any child or adult, for that matter) to a walk in sub-freezing weather.

And even if I were close enough to walk to the stores, how would you expect me to carry my child AND all the grocery bags? Even with a sling, I'd get pretty tired and worn down carrying all those bags. That's real safe. :

ETA: Even though you have "reduced car time," you should still focus on car-seat safety for the times that you ARE in a car. It's not appropriate to be lackadaisical about it just because you're not in the car often. Is it appropriate to be careless about co-sleeping safety just because one might co-sleep only once in a while? Of course not! It's still appropriate to follow safety guidelines! Anything can happen at any time; it doesn't matter how seldom you get in the car!
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisisMama


My other ideas are making the roads safer in general. Thank you sohappy, I totally agree with your rant! And on the rant note, why does it always seem that the people driving aggressively around me are in big huge cars, thus quadrupling the danger of them crashing into me?

Also, I wonder if driving on safer roads would not be a possible solution. I know that when we lived in Santa Cruz, we drove the two lane coastal road to get everywhere. The speed on that road never goes over 30 miles/hour. It was when we were going start traveling over a dangerous commuter road that I really considered limiting that kind of driving.

Someone mentioned not driving at night. How about during high road rage and high speed times of day? What about limiting driving during bad weather? I remember being a kid and being snowed in! I was just in the US during a snow storm and everyone was out and driving thanks to big cars and a fast passed lifestyle.

And another person mentioned, installing seatbelts on busses to broaden the appeal to more parents.

And, yes, as so many of you mentioned the various environmental, cultural and physical advantages of just not driving as much should definitely be considered…always!
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Sometimes I wonder if the reason they don’t push for less time in the car is because they really want us in the car. “They” (don’t ask…I’m new to conspiracy theories) want us driving and buying.
Auto-safety campaigns are in place to teach parents how to best protect children when they are in a car. The campaign is in response to the hypothetical question, "How can I keep my child safest when we are in a car?" The answer to that question is NOT "Well, just don't put your child in a car." That's not an answer to the question.

I go to the carseat specialist to check the installation of our carseat, and I ask, "Is this installed correctly, making this as safe as possible for my child?" If he says, "Actually, your child is only safe if you never put her in the car at all," that does not answer my question! I'm quite intelligent; I realize that she is safest from car danger if she is never in a car. What I'm asking is, "How can I make her safest when we ARE in a car?" And that is the question that is answered my the safety campaigns. It wouldn't make any sense for "them" to tell you to stop putting your child in a car.

You remind me of that old joke, in which a man says to his doctor, "It hurts when I do this," while bending his arm at the elbow. The doctor replies, "So stop doing it!"
post #16 of 51
Thread Starter 
Cool, so I'm the doctor right? In the joke?
post #17 of 51
No fair! How come SHE gets to be the doctor? M-o-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m-my, they never let me be the doctor.
post #18 of 51
I can understand what you are saying it doesd make alot of sense just doesn't seem evry practical. I guess maybe if you live in the city and can catch the bus or train or everything is in walking distnace. BUt as a few mamas have stated not all of us live like that. So focusing on the safety issue just makes more sense to me. It takes me 15 minutes just to drive to the nearest grocery store so I am certainly not about to walk there. laso it seems to me that if you are limiting teh time that your kids spend in the car doesn't that mean that they are stuck in or around the house all the time? Okay unless everything you do is in walking distance but city life is not for me so I don't think I'll ever have that option. Woudl love to find a nice suburb somewhere that I can walk around to I do love to walk.
post #19 of 51
IdentityCrisisMama, do you put your child in a carseat when you ARE in a car?
post #20 of 51
I think I agree with the original post. We live in the country, and my husband gets upset at me if I go to the grocery store more than once a week. I used to live in the city and went to the grocery store at least three times a week. But, with a grocery list and menu, I have managed to cut it down to once a week. Part of that motivation is the trouble it takes to get ds in and out of the car. My husband's concern is the miles put on the car.

We have the least expensive car seat I could find (new, not used). Would a $250 car seat be safer? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We drive a small car, not a big SUV. When it snows, there are as many SUV's in the ditch as little cars like ours, largely due to the fact that people who drive SUVs think they're invincible.

Yes, I use a car seat, and yes, I try to drive safely. Avoiding an accident by avoiding unnecessary trips in the car and driving defensively probably saves more lives than $250 car seats in SUVs driven irresponsibly. Equipment isn't everything.
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