The big CPS-related news story of the week (and maybe even the whole month) is undoubtedly going to be the video footage of Transport Canada’s NCAP Testing. TC recently made the videos public and has provided us with an outstanding summary of their findings. I commend TC for “trusting” that we can handle this. We can handle this, right? Honestly, I think the best way to thank them is to not freak out and make them sorry they decided to release these videos. Personally, I always hate when information is withheld from the public for fear of causing panic. We’re all intelligent, logical and analytical. I doubt anyone who cares enough to read this blog is going to throw their child restraint away and start riding around with their kids unrestrained in a moving vehicle. Of course you could decide never to drive anywhere again and hey, if that’s your decision, I highly recommend Lancaster County, PA (aka Dutch Amish capital of the world). But even travel by horse and buggy with kids is risky so there’s no avoiding risk altogether.
With my “please don’t panic, it’s counter-productive” disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at the facts:
These tests were conducted for research purposes. These tests are supplemental. Carseats and boosters are not compliance tested in real vehicles. Many of these tests exceed the current testing standard speeds. Even a 5 mph (8 km/h) increase in crash speed can almost double the load forces exerted on the CR.
I also urge everyone who watches the videos to keep these points in mind:
- Not everything that looks bad is bad.
- Real crashes at these speeds are scary and ugly. There’s just no getting around this point.
- Most of us aren’t used to seeing crash tests like these (and most people aren’t familiar with crash dynamics) so it’s bound to be a little shocking.
- If you feel your blood pressure rising or an anxiety attack coming on – stop – step away from the computer – and take several deep relaxing breaths. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Personally, I’m not frightened by these videos. I’m fascinated. Each one tells a different story and I basically spent the entire weekend watching them over and over and over…..
There are a LOT of issues relating to these videos that need to be dissected and discussed. Stay tuned to Carseatblog for much, much more on the subject in the coming days as we’ll attempt to sort through these issues and make some realistic recommendations based on the evidence. In the mean time, Transport Canada has already done a fantastic job summarizing their findings so make sure you read what they have to say here.
Also, in many ways, the CPS community has been through this already with the Chicago Tribune article fiasco. The same questions we asked back then are still the same questions we should be asking now.
Stay tuned for updates…….