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Monthly Archive:: December 2011

Resolutions

The new year represents a fresh beginning, a time when many people resolve to start, stop, increase, decrease, or otherwise alter activities in their lives. Other people avoid resolutions all together. Me? Sometimes I make resolutions; other times I don’t. It depends on how motivated I am at the end of any given year.

This year I’m issuing a challenge to myself and all of CarseatBlog’s readers. For 2012, I would like everyone to make one change pertaining to vehicle safety. Call it a resolution or just an improvement, but do something.

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you already make vehicle safety a high priority, but there’s always room for improvement.

I came up with a few different ideas for myself before I settled on my change. Initially I thought about paying more attention to our tire pressure, but then I realized that my husband generally stays on top of that, and…well, I don’t really want to.

Next I decided I’d be better about keeping fuel in the car. That might not be a vehicle safety issue, per se, but it is important from an emergency standpoint if we need to evacuate for some reason, or if we don’t want to get stuck somewhere without gas. But then I realized that my husband stays on top of that, too.

Finally I started paying attention to my driving habits. I am generally a very good, safe driver, but I’m not going to lie: I sometimes break the rules. I have been known to speed, and I don’t always signal when making a turn. Something else I’m more-than-occasionally guilty of is following the vehicle in front of me too closely. It’s not like I ride people’s tails, but neither do I always keep a safe distance.

Hence I decided that falling back and leaving more room will be my resolution/change for 2012.

There are different recommendations on how much space is appropriate or how to judge that distance, but they all work out about the same way. I used to go with “one car length for every 10 mph,” but I’m pretty bad about judging what one car length is, let alone six. So I now use the “three-second rule” championed by the California Highway Patrol: Pick a fixed point (street sign, lane marker, etc.) and make sure that at least three seconds lapse from the time the car in front of you passes it until you do.

Unlike dieting or exercising, slowing down a bit in the car doesn’t take much effort, plus there’s no need to give up pie or chocolate.

Now it’s your turn! Tell us what you’re going to do differently this year (car-related or otherwise).

I hope you and your family have a safe and happy New Year!

 

Happy Holidays

New Dual Line Indicator from Dorel – Recline Angle Success?

A week and a half ago the UPS man showed up at my door with a new Complete Air 65 LX. A new car seat arriving at my house is always an exciting occasion but this particular arrival was more exciting because it was a sample seat that had been provided by the folks from Safety 1st. A full review will follow soon, but today I’m going to bring you a sneak peek on a topic that many of you have been eagerly awaiting – the  dual line indicators that Dorel has introduced on some of their products. I’m not familiar with the full US line-up of seats, but in Canada, the updated 3-in-1 seats as well as the Complete Air 65 LX have the new dual line indicators.

Dual line indicator on Complete Air 65 LX

Dual line indicator

 

The sticker is on both sides of the seat and is clear and easy to read. The more reclined line is for infants who weigh less than 22lbs. Children who weigh between 22 and 40lbs and who are able to sit unassisted may have the seat installed anywhere between the two lines.

 

I have an original Complete Air from when my son was still rear-facing, so I was able to do a comparison between the 2 seats. The difference between the more upright line and the full recline is astounding, and I was impressed with the decrease in space the seat took when installed with the more upright line level to the ground.

I’m generally not a fan of angle measurement tools, but for the sake of this blog, I pulled out a tool used for measuring angles and measured the interior recline of the seat. I measured both seats, coming up with 45* for the original Complete Air, and 45* for the new Complete Air 65 when at the more reclined line. When the seat was installed with the more upright line level to ground, I measured the interior angle at 30*. For the purposes of measuring I measured at the approximate point a child’s chin or neck would be when the harness height was properly adjusted for rear-facing.

Cosco/Dorel underwent some heavy criticism in this past year when they released a statement stating that the line must be level to ground on their rear-facing restraints regardless of the age and development of the child. Parents, advocates, and technicians understandably complained loud and clear because the seat was difficult to fit in vehicles when reclined with the line level to ground. The company responded by developing the dual line indicators and now that I’ve had the new seat in a few vehicles I’d say I consider the change a big success.

Here are a few pictures for comparison to show the difference in room the seat takes up when installed at the more upright angle. The seat on the driver side is the old seat, while the seat on the passenger side is the new seat. Despite how reclined the old seat looks, it is only reclined to 45*.

30* Interior Angle  

For comparison, the new and old seats at the full 45* recline.

New seat with base takes up more room at full 45* angle compared to original seat w/o base.  

Stay tuned for the full review that will have more pictures, comments about the installation and seat in general, and some pictures of children in the seat!

 

The First Years Via 35 Infant Carseat – Amazon Deal Alert!

Is it a mistake?  I don’t know.

Will it still be this price tomorrow?  Probably not.

But if you’re looking for an awesome deal on a really nice infant carseat – you should probably grab this while you can.

The First Years Via 35  (5-35 lbs) in Spiro Navy for $67.84!