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Monthly Archive:: May 2013

Where’s the Culpability?

There was a recent crash in my area that killed 5 out of the 7 members of a family riding in a minivan. They were traveling through our state back home from visiting an ill family member in Colorado. Five of the 7 passengers were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the van. They were rear-ended by an 18 yr old drunk driver in an SUV; both vehicles spun out of control and rolled. I should also mention the drunk driver was a fugitive from a California youth facility for drug and alcohol abusers. Nice.

Crashes like this always make me shake my head in disappointment at the loss of life. The family certainly didn’t ask to have their lives taken by this thoughtless, reckless bonehead. He showed complete and utter lack of respect for their lives (and everyone else’s on the road that night) and disregard for the law. He should be punished to the full extent of the law.

But what about the family’s responsibility? It’s hard to say whether or not they would have survived the crash if they had all been wearing their seat belts. I’m not a crash investigator and I wasn’t on scene to make that determination. We all know the statistic that we’re 4 times more likely to be thrown from a vehicle if we’re not belted in. No one expects to be in a crash when they get in the car to drive from point A to point B, but we should be prepared for it. If they had been wearing seat belts, perhaps they’d all still be alive with scrapes and bruises instead of being 6’ below ground today.

These types of moral arguments make my head spin. Each side has responsibility in this crash. Should the 18 yr old have the strictest penalties placed on him because the family members made the decision not to wear seat belts? That doesn’t seem fair. Yet he also made the decision to drink and drive. If he hadn’t, the family might still be here (or might not—maybe something else could have happened to them that night). Should we prosecute based on intent or on outcome? Sometimes both are the same, but in this case, I don’t think it was. What do you think about these situations?

Every CarseatBlog.com Review – Now In One Convenient Place!

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Our readers suggested it and we listened!  Every CarseatBlog.com carseat and booster review can now be found quickly and easily by visiting our new “Reviews” page. Products are grouped according to CR category. You’ll even find our vehicle reviews and other product reviews there too – like Heather’s informative vehicle seat protector comparison!

Just click on the “Reviews” link at the top of the page. Every time we review a CR or a new vehicle, we’ll add it to that page so you can always find what you’re looking for without searching for key words or by category. We’re busy parents too and we understand that every moment saved is a moment earned! And that time could better spent on more productive tasks… like finishing that yard work you started last month, or folding that load of laundry that’s been sitting in the basket for 3 days. Or Heather’s personal favorite – vacuuming! Um… yeah.

Okay, who am I kidding… I hope the time you save thanks to our new CarseatBlog Reviews page is time spent on something truly enjoyable – like a nap. :)

 

 

How far is too far?

RF-teenagerI understand that we’re all passionate about safety.  And at some point or another, most of us have had to deal with criticism from friends or family members who think we’ve taken this whole car safety thing too far and just gone right off the deep end.  Usually, we just brush off these ignorant remarks because deep in our hearts we know that we’re right and obviously they just don’t get it.  We’re aware of the fact that MVC’s are the leading cause of death to children in the US and we’re all determined to protect our children to the best of our abilities.  That’s our job as parents and caregivers and we all take that responsibility very seriously.  I understand that, I really do because I’m right there with ya.

But how are we to know if we’ve really gone too far?  Certainly our safety-addicted friends at car-seat.org would never stage an intervention on our behalf.  And our spouse would probably rather walk across hot coals than incur our wrath by suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we’re being a bit too extreme.

So, who’s gonna give it to ya straight and tell you when it’s time to chillax?  Who’s gonna remind you that you can’t save the world and completely eradicate all injuries to children in MVCs – no matter how desperately you want to?  Who’s gonna tell you when it’s time to step away from that vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot because clearly you’re not dealing with an appreciative and open-mined victim? ;)

Kecia will!

However, the first step to getting help is to admit that you have a problem. Don’t think you have a problem?  Get in line.  And while you’re there – take our short survey:

1. Do you find yourself repeatedly trying to talk your sister-in-law into buying a Radian to rear-face your tiny 7-year-old niece who weighs 43 lbs?

2. When you go grocery shopping do you spend 20 minutes thinking about the most appropriate way to secure those projectiles for the ride home?

3.  Have you purchased more CRs for other people’s kids than you have for your own children?

4.  Have you ever considered gluing sheets of EPS/EPP foam to the rear windows in a vehicle that doesn’t have side curtain airbags?

5.  Do you lose sleep thinking about your neighbor’s child who is 4 years old and rides in a backless booster?

6.  Do you respond “ABSOLUTELY”, when someone posts an online poll asking whether you would put a small, immature 13-year-old back into a 5-point harness?

7.  Have you ever refused to ride the monorail at WDW because you considered it too risky?

8.  Do you have anxiety attacks when you see properly restrained forward-facing 2-year-olds?

9.  Do you always remember to secure your purse with an available safety belt?

10.  On Halloween, do you hand out copies of the 5-Step Test flyer instead of candy? (If you hand it out WITH candy – that doesn’t count as a yes.)

If you answered yes to more than 1 question above - please do yourself a favor and go volunteer some of your time at carseat check events in the lowest, low-income inner-city area you can find within driving distance.  If you don’t have any impoverished inner-city areas within driving distance, then a rural, migrant farm worker community will suffice.  All kidding aside, these are the types of places where your knowledge, passion and dedication to CPS are desperately, desperately needed.  And seeing the frightening reality of how these children ride around every day will really help you to appreciate the beautiful sight of a properly restrained, albeit forward-facing, 2-year-old.  Everything in life is relative and a healthy perspective will keep you focused on the bigger picture – and help you avoid going off the deep end in the process. :)

I can use my own app! Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review for Dummies

I’ve been a Nokia user for many years.  My collection of chargers and accessories has been nicely compatible with each upgrade.  I bought my Nokia phones for cheap online, so I never had to get tied to a contract.  Since they aren’t sold by AT&T, I’ve managed to retain my $15 unlimited non-smartphone data plan, too.  My most recent phone, the Nokia N8, was a bit of a splurge.  It did do what it needed to do for over 2 years, though.  Most importantly, its 12 megapixel camera put every other phone to shame, and still does, with a real Xenon camera flash as well.  The camera was fast to focus and snap a shot, but the Nokia Symbian software was always quirky and slow.  Recently, it’s been very buggy.  Even after re-installing the operating system, it will sporadically refuse to do things, like answer calls or allow me to hear the person on the other end.  Sometimes it shutdown for no apparent reason.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  It’s been selling like hotcakes and combined with the Galaxy S3, is giving the iPhone more competition than it can handle.  I intended to buy the new iPhone.  It was very nice all around, ‘cept for a few major drawbacks.  The screen was no bigger than my Nokia, for starters, though it was brighter and clearer  Also, we have a number of Apple chargers and cables from our iPads and iPods, but the iPhone5 is not compatible with any of them!  Finally, I was surprised to learn that it had no memory card for extra files and music and such.  Meanwhile, the Note 2 makes the iPhone look “cute”.  So, why the need for such a big phone?  Bragging rights?  For me, it’s a simple matter of compensating for something: my refusal to buy bifocals or progressive lenses at my last optometrist checkup!  I can’t tell you how much nicer it is to have a larger phone screen, even if it barely fits in one hand and blocks half of my face when talking….