Well, first I would like to thank everyone for this discussion. This idea had been rolling around in my head for a long time and I was having a hard time with it myself.
What I have gathered is that people who HAVE to drive, CHOOSE to drive, LOVE to drive don’t much like the insinuation that they are putting their children in danger by using the car. I don't blame you!
I messed up my approach specifically because I didn’t want to offend. I really didn’t want this to seem like I was superior because I don’t drive much. I still drive and I “have to”, “choose to” AND “love to”. I think that I straddle the line of automobile safety. On some levels I do all that I can to keep my kid safe in the car, including driving a nice safe car, use a carseat AND limit my driving time BUT on other levels I am very taboo in my opinions of auto safety.
One opinion that I have, which I think would be considered taboo is that all roads are NOT equal. I do not believe that a child driving in inner city grid lock traffic, a child on a country road and a child on a busy high-speed commuter highway are all a the same risk. Dare I say that a child driving through downtown Paris is not in as much need for a carseat as a child on Interstate 95 going through DC during road-rage commuter hell!
That said, I would like to address the issue of my "acting lackadaisical” because it is one of the issues I'm talking about.
My daughter is only in the car an hour a week, strapped into a carseat, however, we use a taxi without a carseat a few times a year (in downtown traffic). Now, even though my child is statistically MUCH, MUCH safer than those of a family who drives for 3 hours per DAY on I95 with their kids always strapped, those people are considered very safety conscious parents and I am considered lackadaisical. What’s up with that?
(This here, I know is very controversial).
Please know that my controversary (oops, controversy…freakin’ spell check!) is not directed at anyone of you. In fact, it is not directed even at the 3 hour/day mamas and papas. I know that people have their own circumstances, as I’ve said many times before.
On that vein, I would like to just give a little support to those mamas who “choose” to live in the country. I never meant to target you. I think the word “choose” should be used very carefully because we all know that what one ACTUALLY chooses varies considerably from person to person.
I do agree that it is a strange choice to move to the country and then expect all of the conveniences urban living and then just spend half your life in the car fulfilling both expectations but I doubt that most people are doing that. For those who are, may I suggest the suburbs? .:LOL
The reason that I try NOT to be judgmental towards people who drive often is because I’m aware of my good fortune in deciding where I wanted to live. We got lucky (in some ways/not in others-but that’s another story) and we were able to really “choose” where we wanted to live. I don’t really know where I’m going with this other then saying that I know that “choice” is a tricky thing.
Sohappy, I hope you are bowing out of the discussion between you and corvus and NOT, NOT, NOT this whole tread. I appreciate BOTH of your opinions.