Monthly Archive:: July 2010

Vehicle Safety Quick Tip–Driver Position


While I was at the Lexus Family Safety Camp, the professional drivers gave us pointers to be better, safer drivers.   Here are some tips on how to adjust your seating position as a driver.

Adjust your steering wheel so that it’s far enough away that your arms bend comfortably.  Ladies, I know that some of you have problems reaching the pedals to drive, but you must have space between your chest and the steering wheel!  That airbag will do some serious damage to the girls!  And, while you’re adjusting the distance between you and the steering wheel, adjust the angle of the wheel so that it’s aimed at your chest, not your face.  You want it aimed at your sturdy chest bones, not your fragile face.  If it’s too much to change all at once, try changing just a bit every day or two—you won’t even notice after a week.

Your hand positions should be at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock or a little lower.  If you’ll notice, manufacturers have changed the design of the steering wheel so the hand notches are lower; that’s not just for comfort.  We used to be taught to hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, but if you do that now and the airbag deploys, your hands will be forced back at your face.  Ouch!  Nothing like punching yourself in the face ;).  So keep those hands low and safe.

Adjust your head restraint so that the tops of your ears are midway on the head restraint.  If you have adjustable shoulder belts, adjust the height so that the shoulder belt falls midway between your neck and the edge of your shoulder.  You may want it a smidge closer to your neck so that you don’t roll out of it in a crash, but don’t make it uncomfortable so that you push it out of position.

Britax Marathon 70 Review – Part II (with lots of pics!)


The last few days have been really hot here in NY. Like sweltering, broiling hot. But the Marathon 70 wasn’t even breaking a sweat. In fact, she looked pretty fantabulous in her red bikini. Yeah, yeah… I know – it’s an aftermarket, unregulated bikini that will probably void the Britax warranty but seriously, on a 100 degree day – you pick your battles. 😉

All jokes aside, the Marathon 70 is shaping up to be a really nice convertible seat.  And if its crash performance data is as good as Britax claims it is – I think we have serious contender on our hands. 

Heading Home!


Our traffic adventures in Israel were relatively uneventful.  No major traffic jams, no crashes, far fewer people in a rush and not one complete (okay maybe one) idiot like I see many times a day in the USA.  That’s not to say that everyone was polite and unhurried, there was plenty of the usual rush hour grind, but it just didn’t seem to be the madness I see in the Chicago suburbs, anyway.

The only auto related issue we had was that our tour van’s air conditioning broke a couple hours from Eilat in the Negev desert.  Well that and Jon thowing up the first day.  As for the air conditioning, it actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds, even the kids didn’t complain (much).  Things like this happen, so no big deal at all.  In fact, our tour guide, David, was excellent, as was the transportation and driving.  If you are going to Israel, definitely give KIDS’  Israel Adventures a call if you need a guide.  Dave is originally from California (Los Angeles) and speaks perfect English.  He also has all the local connections of a licensed guide who has been in the biz for 15+ years.

We actually booked our whole tour with Authentic Israel and they happened to pair us with David as a subcontracted guide.  I can recommend them also.  They were a bit pricey, but good service.  David wasn’t our scheduled driver back to Jerusalem today, even if his A/C hadn’t broken.  So, our tour company sent another driver for the 5+ hour final leg of or tour.  This time, it was an older Mercedes Vito minivan.  While it seated 8, two rear seats lacked a head restraint and all rear seats lacked a shoulder belt.  There was a newer Evenflo high back booster, but I didn’t have the heart to reject it on the basis of a lap-only belt;-)  The ride was a bit bouncy, but on the plus side, the A/C was nice and cold!  Our kids liked Dave’s van best of all of them, though!

It’s back to the USA traffic for us.  I leave still wondering how high motor vehicle traffic ranks as a cause of death in Israel and the West Bank or how their rates compare to ours on a per million vehicle miles travelled basis.  Can we help them, or can they help us?  Or maybe a little of both?

Britax Marathon 70 Review – Part I


I’m going to break the entire Britax Marathon 70 review into smaller bite-sized pieces. Partially because I don’t have a lot of time today, partially because it’s 100 degrees outside right now and partially because I know everyone is anxiously awaiting more info and I don’t want to keep you waiting longer than necessary.

The Britax Marathon 70 is a convertible child restraint rated for children 5-40 lbs in the rear-facing position and up to 70 lbs in the forward-facing position.  It has a listed height limit of 49″ tall but since all children are proportioned differently, it’s possible that it may be outgrown before that listed height limit is reached.  Since many of our readers are familiar with the original Britax Marathon model, many of my comments will be comparative.