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Safety Archive

Who’s Better? Who’s Best? The Safest Car Seat Question.

For a long time, Child Passenger Safety Techs were told not to recommend specific seats.  They are all safe and pass federal standards, or so said the official training manual.  Most techs dutifully passed this stale company line along to parents.  Fortunately, that all ended when the NHTSA itself started rating seats a number of years ago.  At last, official proof that all carseats are not created equal!  The original ratings were questionable and almost every seat got 4-stars or 5-stars, so they were not really useful.  Now, the ratings have improved and have a wide variation among models. They don’t always match the experience of technicians and advocates, but they are worth a look.

The big drawback?  They don’t actually do any crash testing or correlate the star rating to a risk of injury.

The Car Seat Afterlife

It\'s a garbage can.So, what do you do with a car seat or booster you no longer need?  That’s a big question that lots of folks ask themselves every day and usually the answer is to stick the seat next to the trash can on the curb.  The problem with that fix is that there are other folks who like to look for a bargain, either out of necessity or just to say they found something great (and who hasn’t driven by someone else’s garbage and seen something in mint condition and thought, “Oh, look at that!  If I just had a truck, I would take that home!”).  Car seats are thrown away for a variety of reasons: they’ve been in a crash and shouldn’t be used again, they’ve expired, or perhaps mom found the cutest cover ever and just wanted to get that sickly brown car seat out of her garage ;).

Acronyms Strike Again

Again we welcome Heather’s dh, Matt, for Guest Wednesday.

As a non-tech person, I am generally confused by the various terminology used on a regular basis by those who are tech people.  But I am trying to learn.  One of these terms is LATCH, which must be really important because it’s in all caps.  I understand the importance of words in all caps. Like me sitting on the couch on the weekend and watching the NFL or the NBA or why don’t the kids go play in the STREET but watch out for CARS and while you’re at it go get the MAIL.

Back to School, but how to get there?

A few days ago, we took the annual trip to our elementary school to see the posted list of classes for the coming school year that starts next week! Lots of kids were elated to find they got the teacher they wanted or a best friend in their class. A number were sad because they didn’t. Most were happy to see friends they missed over the summer.

For parents, it’s back to the routine again. Our kids take a bus, as their school turns out to be twice as far as the closest schools due to the zoning maps. On the plus side, it’s a great school so we don’t complain about it. Plus, we all know that full size school buses are the safest form of ground transportation. Right?

Which Car is Really Safest?

http://www.fordexplorerrollover.com/explorer_rollovers/Default.cfmThroughout the 90s and even into this century, truck based SUVs were all the rage.  Gas was cheap.  The marketing was impressive.  Even though most are used for commuting back and forth to work and never taken off-road or used for towing, the ability to plow through any terrain was a big selling point.  I haven’t been stuck in the snow in 25 years of driving front-wheel drive vehicles in northern Illinois, yet many people here still insist they need 4WD.  Of course, they forget 4WD and AWD do nothing for braking or stability and often wind up in the ditch first!  Sadly, many people also had the impression big SUVs were safer than cars, too.