Monthly Archive:: January 2010

Cell Phone Bans Not Working?


Photo from, a recent study by an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Highway Loss Data Institute, finds that laws banning hand-held cell phone use don’t really work.  Is that a surprise?  I don’t know since I don’t live in a state where hand-held phones are banned, but I’ve often compared the use of cell phones to having a living, breathing passenger in the front passenger seat.

Have you ever driven behind one of those drivers who has a passenger in the front seat who has a compulsive desire to look at his passenger as he talks?  The guy ends up looking at his passenger more than he looks at the road during his conversation.  I always keep that guy in front of me for my safety, though I go insane to have to drive behind him.  I daresay he’s more distracted than he would be if he just had his cell phone up to his ear.

Since I’m usually a solitary driver, I know how distracting it can be to have someone in the passenger seat.  Perhaps the cell phone is less distracting because at least when I’m talking on the phone, I’m not concerned with how fat my thighs look sitting on the vehicle seat or if I’m driving like a grandpa.

Still, I’ve been behind, in front of, and beside cell phone drivers and I can say one thing: they’re distracted and all over the road.  They run red lights obliviously.  They cause crashes and maim and kill people.  If you see me coming and you’re driving and phoning, I’ll be yelling, “Put down your freaking cell phone!”  Though if you look in your rear-view mirror, you’ll know what my mouth is really saying 😉 .

Evenflo Symphony 65 vs. Evenflo Triumph: Comparative Review of Features (with lots of pics!)


Since Evenflo was kind enough to send us a complimentary new Symphony 65 child restraint to review, I decided to focus on comparing this Evenflo 3-in-1 to the other popular Evenflo convertible – the Triumph Advance.  For the sake of full disclosure – the Triumph was not a freebie from Evenflo, rather something I bought with my own funds to use as a training seat in our CPS Technician certification classes.

*UPDATE: Check out our full review of the newest Symphony 65 e3 model HERE.

Why Rear-Facing Is Better: Your RF Link Guide


Here’s a list of concrete reasons why we recommend rear-facing past age 1 and 20 lbs.  That old recommendation that many pediatricians still hold onto stresses the bare minimums of when to turn a child forward-facing.  Who wants the minimum for their child?  It’s best practice to rear-face to the limits of the child’s convertible carseat: check the label for the rear-facing weight limit and make sure there’s at least 1″ of carseat above the top of his head (this height limit “rule of thumb” does not supersede the instruction manual’s height limit).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended since 2002 that after age 1 and 20 lbs., children should ride in a rear-facing convertible seat until reaching the weight limit of that carseat. They’ve just amended that policy (3/2011) to recommend rear-facing to age 2 or until they reach the “highest weight or height allowed” by that convertible carseat.  (

Unboxing! The Maxi Cosi Rodi XR!


The review is coming soon, but I’ll leave you with this nugget until then.  A video is worth at least 1,000 words, which is a good thing because I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately!