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Carpool Lanes and Kids

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wooden dummy screen shotI’ve long teased my kids that the only reason I had them was to be able to use the carpool lanes during rush hour. And while they’re a lifelong commitment for a minor convenience, it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable using the carpool lanes with them as my passengers in the car. I wonder why that is, especially in our society where cops see broomsticks with fake heads and blow-up dolls as passengers.

Long before we had carpool lanes (aka high-occupancy vehicle–HOV–lanes) in my city, we used to have to travel down to Phoenix every other week while my son had his DOC band adjusted (for plagiocephaly). Phoenix, being a modern city, had carpool laneshov and I so wanted to use them but it seemed odd to declare my 8 month old as my 2nd passenger. He couldn’t be seen through the tinting in my van’s windows, so I could very easily have been pulled over wasting both my time and the police officer’s. I never used the carpool lane.

I guess I determined that my children were worthy carpool lane passengers when their heads could be seen through the back window. I have tinting, but you can still see shapes through it. It seemed too much of a risk for me until then. I’ve only received one ticket in my driving career and I don’t mind saying it was for hitting a parked car 6 weeks after I got my driver’s license (a well-deserved ticket that the police officer hesitantly wrote, as I recall). We all do stupid things when we’re 16, right? Like throw toilet paper at future husbands and their friends while driving? Yeah.

When do you feel kids become full-on carpool lane-worthy passengers? Is there a law in your state that dictates an age? Do you even use the carpool lane?

New seats added to the “Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison”!

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Evenflo Momentum - RF space comparisonOur Ultimate Rear-Facing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison is one of our most popular reference articles and I’m pleased to report that it has been recently updated. We now have space grades and data for the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85, Evenflo Momentum & Safety 1st Advance EX 65 Air+ (that’s the newest Advance model with the 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit). All in all, there are now over 30 higher-weight convertible seats that have been evaluated and graded in our comparison. I’m hoping to add data on the Clek Fllo in the near future.

As we pointed out in the original article – there are so many variables that go into every carseat/vehicle compatibility scenario that it’s impossible to accurately predict which seat is going to be the “best” convertible for rear-facing *your* child in *your* vehicle. The complexity of the situation is amplified by the plethora of options and features available on various convertibles. Still, it was our intention here at CarseatBlog to put together a comprehensive comparison that would serve as a resource for parents and caregivers searching for an extended-use convertible that would keep their rear-facing toddler or older child safe and comfortable without sacrificing the safety and comfort of the driver and/or front seat passenger.

http://carseatblog.com/22818/the-ultimate-rear-facing-convertible-space-comparison-review-size-matters/

Star-Crossed Drivers

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zodiacScorpios are independent introverts. Pisces are creative daydreamers. Libras are horrible drivers.

Wait, what?

A Canadian insurance company wanted to see if there was any correlation between astrological signs and driving records. Although the study started off as a joke, apparently some trends became clear. Libras, Scorpios, and Capricorns get into more crashes than the other signs. Pisces, Aries, and Aquarians get the most tickets.

On the flip side, the safest signs for drivers are Gemini, Cancer, and Leo (fewest crashes), and Virgo, Sagittarius, and those already-safe Gemini (fewest tickets).

So should Geminis get a break on their auto insurance premiums? Should Libras pay more? Probably not. Again, the study was undertaken for fun, and it looks like the actual difference in statistics was fairly low. (15.8% of crashes attributed to Libras vs. 9% for Leo.)

Still, it can make for a fun discussion. I’m a Sagittarius, which ranked in the middle in terms of collisions and 11th (meaning second-best) in tickets. Is it just coincidence that I’ve only gotten one ticket in more than 20 years of driving? I’ll let you decide…

How do you rank?

Crashes (Worst to Best)

  1. Libra   (most crashes)
  2. Scorpio
  3. Capricorn
  4. Aries
  5. Aquarius
  6. Sagittarius
  7. Pisces
  8. Taurus
  9. Virgo
  10. Gemini
  11. Cancer
  12. Leo   (fewest crashes)

Tickets (Worst to Best)

  1. Pisces   (most tickets)
  2. Aries
  3. Aquarius
  4. Capricorn
  5. Libra
  6. Taurus
  7. Scorpio
  8. Leo
  9. Cancer
  10. Virgo
  11. Sagittarius
  12. Gemini   (fewest tickets)

Carseat Tom-foolery

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A couple blasts from the past, back in the old days when we were a bit less serious all the time!  Perhaps these are more suited to Throwback Thursday, but instead I re-visit them for some foolish fun this April 1st.  And for those who may take offense, we do not (usually) condone the use of duct tape for installation of carseats.  Normally, we prefer nails, screws and glue…

Carseat Install on a Moped:

Patented Super Secure Duct Tape Installation: