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You Wear Your Seatbelt, but Do You…

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…adjust your seat back and head restraint?

Severe crashes from the rear are relatively uncommon.  Depending on the statistics you find, fatal rear end impacts are usually well under 10% of all serious crashes.  On the other hand, rear-enders are a lot more common at lower speeds, in crashes with less severe injuries.  Whiplash injuries are relatively common in these types of impacts.  While they are rarely fatal, they can cause a lot of health issues.  The best way to prevent or reduce the severity of these types of injuries is to make sure your vehicle seat back and head restraint are adjusted correctly.  This website has a great pictorial guide:

http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/resources/General/Driving_posture.shtm

The IIHS also does a test for safety in rear impacts.  In a future blog, I’ll discuss some flaws with this testing and why the passenger really needs to actively adjust their own seat to protect themselves.

 

Blog Improvements

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organizeWe love our readers 🙂 .  To make it easier for our readers to find the blog posts they remember reading, we’ve gone back through and categorized as many as we can to fit into neat little categories like Reviews, Previews, Safety, etc.  This means that if you’d like to reminisce about Marvin, just click the Marvin category and you’ll find all of Marvin’s old posts.

Don’t forget that even though we have this great way organizing our posts, we do have a listing of all our reviews on Facebook too.  Just do a search for CarseatBlog on Facebook and you’ll find us easily!

What should a parent/caregiver expect from a CPS Tech?

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The following information was taken from the monthly CPS Express newsletter for certified CPS Techs (August 2009): 

What should you, as a parent or caregiver, expect from a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)?

The one-on-one education of a safety check usually takes 20-30 minutes, depending on the car seat and the vehicle. The CPST should take all the time necessary to ensure that you feel competent and confident in re-securing the car seat into the vehicle and re-buckling your child into its car seat on your own.

 Card your tech! Ask to see proof of his or her current certification.

 During the check up, a competent CPST will:

• Fill out a checklist form (including car seat type, location in vehicle, misuse observations, if any, etc.).

• Review car seat selection appropriate for your child’s age, size, and review factors affecting proper use.

• Review the restraint manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual with the caregiver and ensure that both are being followed correctly.

• Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used, especially when using LATCH.

• Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date. If the seat is unsafe, you should replace the seat since it may not work as it should in a crash.

• Show what is correct or will be corrected before making the adjustment.

• Have you install the car seat(s) correctly using either the seat belt or LATCH system. Feel free to ask to learn how to install the seat with either options or in different seating positions.

• Discuss the next steps for each child, such as when to move to the next type of restraint.

• Discuss the benefits for everyone, including all adults, to riding properly restrained.

• Discuss safety in and around the vehicle (never leaving kids unattended, walking around the vehicle before moving, etc.)

• Discuss your state laws and best practice recommendations for occupant safety.

 

This tool is brought to you by the Child Restraint Manufacturer’s Consortium.

Consortium Members: Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Compass-Learning Curve, Dorel, Evenflo, Graco, Mia Moda, Orbit, Peg Perego, Recaro, Safe Kids Worldwide, Safe Traffic Systems and Sunshine Kids.

Fun at Traffic Court!

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Traffic CourtWhat a great day I had today! I got to drive an hour north to the City of Kingston to sit for 1.5 hours on a hard wooden bench in Traffic Court! Woo hoo! That was almost as much fun as getting pulled over by an incredibly pleasant and warm-hearted (not!) state trooper at 7 AM on my way to teach the last CPS certification class. Apparently I was driving 72 on this stretch of highway and didn’t realize it was a 55 mph zone. My bad.  

To be honest, I was really annoyed when the trooper wrote me but he was annoyed with me too for not pulling over immediately (silly me was actually looking for a safe place to pull over instead of the non-existent shoulder of the highway). I tried, very politely, to explain this to him when he got all huffy with me but he didn’t seem to appreciate my concern for both his safety and mine. Whatever.  

The good news is that the prosecutor let me plead to a non-moving violation. I think I pled to parking on the curb or something along those lines. The bad news is that it still cost $100. Thank goodness my DH never reads this blog.  😉