Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and many people plan to travel during this time. For this reason, summer is exciting, and it will be especially pleasant if you remember it with your family and children. Nothing can compare to summer vacation, but did you know that according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, three quarters of car seats are installed incorrectly?
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found car accidents are one of the leading causes of death among children.
These statistics are both alarming and sad. Safe driving techniques combined with a properly installed car seat significantly reduce injuries and fatalities. Buckle Up for Life has put together some essential safety tips for traveling with children. We've also added some of our own, so you can rest assured you're doing everything you can.
Inch & Pinch
Skip the rental
Know your vehiclep>
Thumb & Pinch
A good rule of thumb is the “Thumb and Pinch Test”. In other words, pinch the car seat strap near your child's shoulder - if you can pinch a crease in the fabric, pull it a little tighter. To perform the “inch test,” grasp the car seat from behind and below – pull and pull side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten it a little more.
Your child's car seat can get very hot on a hot summer day. Start your vehicle first and let it cool down by running the air conditioner. You can also quickly touch the buckles and levers of the car seat to see if they are hot. If it burns your fingers, it's also too hot for your child.
While it might go without saying, never leave your child unattended in a car seat on a hot day — or any day for that matter. There are tragic stories that pop up in the news like this from time to time and it's always heartbreaking.
Although it may seem logical, never add extra layers between the car seat and your child; towels in particular. The extra material may actually prevent the seat from restraining and protecting your child in a crash. If you plan to have any type of accessory, make sure it is approved by the brand/manufacturer of the car seat.
When you go on vacation, you have a lot of merchandise, from suitcases and gym bags to coolers and beach umbrellas. Make sure all your items are secure - they are likely to become dangerous projectiles in the event of an accident or evasive maneuver. The good news is that many vehicles today have increased trunk and rear cargo space to accommodate this.
Buckle Up for Life is a national injury prevention program for families, created by Toyota and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 2004 to keep child passengers safe.
Skip the rental
It is quite possible to rent a car for your summer getaway, but do not rent a car seat. It's best to buy a premium car seat and take it with you. We thought this Parenting list offered some great options.
If you're flying and need to take your child's car seat, check with the airline first. In most cases you should be lucky as airlines are often very accommodating when it comes to children.
Know your vehicle
I spend a good part of my automotive career as a vehicle coach and product specialist. Regardless of make or model, understand what your vehicle can and cannot do. Certainly, today's automobiles are safer than ever, whether through improvements in body structure or the ever-expanding array of computer-controlled safety technologies, such as maintaining the lane, but nothing replaces good, safe and restful driving.
Understand that if you drive a minivan, it won't behave like a sports or performance car, especially under the weight of passengers and cargo. Understand that if you are driving an SUV or a truck, the 4×4 has limitations and cannot save you if used outside of its intended purpose. Pay attention to horsepower and torque. When launched, new vehicles most often feature an increase in these areas - and it looks great on a window sticker - but excessive speed is the sworn enemy of safety on today's ever-crowded roads. today.
And buckle up. Remember those old ads? Indeed, you can learn a lot from a model.
Enjoy your travels and if you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We will respond to you personally.
*Carl Anthony is the editor of Automoblog and lives in Detroit, Michigan.