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Safest Family Minivans and SUVs for 2017 with 3rd Row Seats

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Safest 2017 Family Vehicles with Three Rows of Seating

Are safety and seating more than a couple kids your top considerations in selecting a new vehicle?  You aren’t alone!  The winner for the last two years, the 2014-2016 Acura MDX, is still a contender to retain its title for 2017.

For 2017, the IIHS not only requires a “Good” result in the newer small overlap crash test to qualify for a Top Safety Pick+ rating, but now also requires at least an “Acceptable” headlight rating.  The IIHS also demands a front crash prevention system.  These systems are not all created equal, some are only basic warnings that no longer qualify for an award, while advanced ones can actually brake in emergency situations and some are more likely to avoid a crash than lesser systems.  To earn the “TSP+” award, an auto-brake system with an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating is still required.

The NHTSA ratings remain the same, but they no longer allow consumers to see the five individual crash test results for each vehicle.  Instead, you may now only see the overall rating and a composite frontal (driver and passenger tests) and side rating (driver, passenger and rear pole impact tests).

There are plenty of very safe vehicles.  Most midsize crossover SUVs and minivans provide excellent protection for occupants, likely better than anything on the road 15 years ago.  Side curtain airbags and stability control are now standard features.  In addition to frontal crash protection systems, advanced safety features like emergency crash notification, lane departure warning, cross traffic warning and blind spot warning systems are becoming more common on non-luxury models.  A lot of very save models just miss the cut!  If your car is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it is unsafe!  Requirements:

 

iihstsp

So how do we filter the list of so many family vehicles that have earned safety awards?  It’s pretty easy:

  • Must qualify as an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2016 or 2017
  • Must have an NHTSA 5-star overall rating
  • No individual NHTSA crash ratings of 3-stars or less
  • Must have at least 6 passenger seats

What vehicles make the cut?  At least 10 so far, an improvement from last year as a few more manufacturers have added active front crash protection systems in this segment.  Models that lack complete NHTSA testing but may be added to this list later include the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2017 GMC Acadia.  As a testament to how safe all these vehicles are for families, with one exception, we recommend all of the the 2017 qualifiers:

  1. 2014-2017 Acura MDX
  2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
  3. 2016-2017 Honda Pilot
  4. 2016-2017 Infiniti QX60*
  5. 2017 Kia Sorento*
  6. 2017 Kia Sedona*
  7. 2014-2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
  8. 2017 Nissan Pathfinder*
  9. 2014-2017 Toyota Highlander*
  10. 2017 Volvo XC90*

*We include some models that qualified or would have qualified for a Top Safety Pick+ award in 2016.  They do not meet the IIHS requirements for the 2017 award only due to marginal, poor or untested headlights.

And the Safest 2017 3-row Family Vehicle is:

Honda Odyssey Recalls: 2011 to 2016 models

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2011 Odyssey Touring EliteOwn a newer Honda Odyssey?  If so, please check the information below to see if yours is affected by one of two recent recalls that involve the 2nd row seats.  Either the 2nd row outboard seats (model years 2011-2016) or 2nd row center seat (late model year 2016) may not lock into position.  This poses a risk to any passenger in affected seats.

 


 
Second Row Outboard Seats may Stay Unlocked – An unlocked second row outboard seat increases the risk of injury to the seat occupant during a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V933000

Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) – Official Honda Press Release

Components SEATS

Potential Number of Units Affected 633,753

Summary

Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2011-2016 Odyssey vehicles manufactured August 17, 2010, to October 1, 2015. The affected vehicles have second row outboard seats that have a release lever that allows the seats to move for easier access to the third row of seats. This release lever may remain in the unlocked position allowing the seats to move unexpectedly.

Remedy

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional bracket and spring to both second row outboard seats, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 23, 2017. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is KD5.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Seat Adjuster may Stick Unlocked/FMVSS 207 – An unlocked second row center seat may increase the risk of injury to the seat occupant in the event of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V932000

Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) – Official Honda Press Release

Components SEATS

Potential Number of Units Affected 7,549

Summary

Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2016 Odyssey vehicles manufactured September 23, 2016, to October 24, 2016. The affected vehicles have a second row center seat with a horizontal adjuster bar that may stick in the unlocked position, allowing the seat to unexpectedly slide. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 207, “Seat Systems.”

Remedy

Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the slide function and replace the horizontal position adjustment bar, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 23, 2017. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is KD4.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

2011_odyssey_098_touring

And No Carnage from a Bare Tree: Holiday Safety Tips

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burning-tree‘Tis the season for falling off ladders, lighting trees on fire, and cutting fingers on broken ornaments…which is why safety should be at the top of your holiday list. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has created 12 Ways to Celebrate Safely to help you avoid perils this holiday season:

12. Take special care with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Lacerations were among the top reported decoration-related injuries last year.

11. Avoid trimmings that resemble food or candy that may tempt a child to mouth or swallow them.

10. Place decorations with small removable parts that can pose a choking hazard to young children out of reach.

9. Purchase only holiday light sets that bear the marking of a safety testing laboratory.

8. Examine new and old light sets for damage. Discard sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections.

7. Keep burning candles in sight and away from places where kids and pets can knock them over.

6. Place lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

5. Look for a label that reads “fire resistant” when purchasing an artificial tree. Check live trees for freshness.

cpsc-tree

4. Place live Christmas trees away from heat sources, and keep trees well watered.

3. Watch this dramatic fire demonstration of what happens when a dry tree comes in contact with a heat source.

2. Use caution on ladders. Read our Ladder Safety 101 blog for tips to prevent ladder falls this season. 41% of holiday decorating injuries involve falls. Falls from ladders account for about half of these incidents.

1. Start with safety in mind. Download and follow CPSC’s Holiday Decoration Safety Tips guide.

You’ve got me and I’ve got you.

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The way my husband talks about his Army buddies you’d think they live around the corner and he sees them every day. The truth is he hasn’t seen many of them in over 5 years, and only talks with them every few months. I haven’t questioned him about how he feels so close to them when to an average person it appears that they hardly know each other because I know that it’s just different. Going through deployments with people who literally have your back (and you have theirs!) makes bonds between people a different kind than your average friendship. Literally facing death with another person puts you at a whole different level.

That being said, while I wouldn’t dream of comparing and contrasting parenthood with a lovely deployment in Iraq, I understand the concept of needing someone when times are tough, and having your friendship shaped by those tough times.

There’s something to be said about having a best friend that is down there with you. Deep in those trenches of sleepless nights, tears, frustrations, and body fluids. They understand you, they have your back, and even though they probably don’t know what the heck the answer is either, they share in the search with you.

greys

I rarely even get to see my best friend. She lives 10 hours away and we have 6 kids between the two of us. But when we do get to see each other, it melds seamlessly into laughter and butt wiping like there hasn’t been any time passing at all. She’s my person. We always joke that we’d be happiest living in a commune being sister wives and just throwing all our kids together and forgetting about who belongs to who. We’ve gotten so good at reading each other that I can tell when she’s irritated purely by the way her punctuation is in her text messages. She just had her 4th baby, sweet little Colin, and I just came back from trying to help her get last minute things together before adding another pup to the pack. Everyone else sees the fun baby stuff, the cute newborn, the perfect Facebook pictures. But we know better. We know the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. We know that just before the nice picture, someone pooped on the driveway. That one of us was crying the night before. That our appliances are all breaking down at once and we’re going broke. That work is killing one of us. That we both have huge wishes and dreams but only a miniscule of a moment and pennies to try to achieve them. We know the real deal. And not only do we love each other in spite of them, we love each other because of them.

bff

Every parent needs a person. I think sometimes that person doesn’t show up when you think they will, but this whole parenting gig is so much more emotionally stable when you have a person. And for every person out there who doesn’t have that friend, there’s probably also someone out there who doesn’t and is looking. I bet if someone up and made a “I’m 4 Cups of Coffee Deep, My Kid Just Bit Me and Peed on the Cat, I’m Exactly 203 Minutes Late for A Dentist Appointment, and I Just Wish I Had Someone to Commiserate With!” website, similar to a dating platform, they’d totally be on to something. Make yourself a profile and find your match. Find your similarities, and what differences balance each other. Christine and I are like the Yin and Yang of vomit. She hates it, and it totally doesn’t bother me. Perfect balance!! I’ll take the puke, she can take early mornings. Done!

So there is never any question from my husband about how a person I am lucky to see once a year is the topic of so many of my conversations, a big voice in my decisions, and a familiar person to my kids. Sometimes when someone is so entwined in your life, even if in spirit, there isn’t a question. It just is. We’re both fighting the same battle, having each other’s backs, and trying to get everyone out in one piece.

Tell us about your person. Who are they to you, and what makes them a part of you? Is there someone you know that you think could use a person? Maybe it could be you. Reach out!