Monthly Archive:: July 2011

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We know from our statistics that we get nearly 3000 unique visitors per day on average.  We’d love to hear from more of you!  If you like our blogs or hate them, or just have something to say about traffic safety, please leave us a comment:-)  Comments help us to know what topics are popular for future blogs.  They also keep the website fresh, generate good discussions and bring in even more parents looking for information on how to keep your kids safe in cars.  It only takes a few seconds to leave one!  Feel free to use an anonymous email account if you wish.

Please stay tuned for upcoming reviews we hope to publish in the next few months, including the Maxi Cosi Pria 70, the Safety 1st Go Hybrid, the Graco Snugride 30, the Lexus CT200h, the Buick Enclave, the Toyota Tacoma, the Mazda 5 and the Volvo XC60 and more!  We’ll certainly have more carseat reviews and news coming after the KIM conference in August and the ABC Kids Expo in September.

On behalf of CarseatBlog, thank you all very much for your input, from our regular contributors to first time commenters!

I Made A Mom Cry :(


I certainly wasn’t trying to upset her to the point of tears but I did, and I feel awful about it.  Let me explain….

I was recently involved in a NHTSA special study called NCRUSS.  I was part of a team that evaluates how children are restrained in the vehicle and what the driver knows about child safety seats and how to install them.  My job was to observe and document restaint use (and misuse), and then refer the parent to a local CPS Tech or Inspection Station for a complete and thorough check.  I know most people won’t/don’t follow through with that so the more dire the situation, the more I feel the need to stress that they really MUST do this.  But I literally have 60 seconds or less when it’s busy and the next vehicle is waiting to convince them of this. 

Not taking the plunge


I’m the first to admit that I have some quirks. I’m scared of aircraft when they’re parked in unexpected places. I hate glitter, chalk, and sand because I can’t stand the way they feel. I’m terrified of driving on mountain roads.

And yet this past week, my family took a vacation that saw us pass airplanes parked on the side of the road, my kid drenched a hat in glitter glue, and we drove through Sequoia National Park–which, if you haven’t been there, consists of nothing but very windy mountain roads.

I wasn’t scared of the drive at first, especially since I didn’t know what to expect. I realized that there was a huge increase in elevation, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that we’d have to somehow get from one elevation to another.

Thankfully my husband was driving, and thankfully I trust him. He’s a good driver, is very safety-conscious, and knows how I freak out. The roads were relatively well maintained, and there were quaint (and hopefully functional) retaining walls through a great deal of the drive. There was also construction which meant that we spend part of the drive behind pilot cars that led us through the work zone at a slow-ish rate of speed.

All in all, the way up wasn’t too bad, likely because we were mostly on the inside part of the road and I never looked down. Instead I was looking up at the scenery and the trees, which really are huge.

The way down was a different story. On the way down, we were mostly on the outside and I made the mistake of looking down. We were so high up I couldn’t even see the bottom. It seemed like the foliage extended for miles below us. At one point my husband, who was driving not-as-fast as the people behind us (lest I flip out) pulled into a turnout to let others go by. Only he didn’t tell me he was turning out, so all I knew was that our car was suddenly headed off the road. I think I still have fingernail marks in my thighs.

What’s weird is that even though the ride down was stressful, it wasn’t until afterwards that it became terrifying. I keep thinking about those steep drops and how a car could veer just a few feet and plunge to the bottom of the mountain…and no one would ever know! The people would die upon impact, and the thick trees would keep anyone from finding them. Heck, even if there were witnesses, how would anybody get to them?

According to the literature we were handed on our way in, drowning is the leading cause of death in Sequoia. (Men between 18 and 30–not kids–are most at risk, presumably because they’re the most…how to put it nicely…brazen?) But I’m convinced the leading cause of death is cars plunging off the mountain roads.

Irrational? Maybe. Probably. I hope so. But in any case, it will likely be a long time before we head back there. Don’t get me wrong: I want to go back. I’m just not sure I’ll be able to.

So, tell me: What driving conditions or types of roads scare you, if any? Tunnels? Bridges? Snow? Is anyone else as terrified of the mountains as I am? And does anyone have words of wisdom to help me calm down about them?

What to Do with A Crashed Seat


Uh oh. You’ve just had wreck in your car and your carseats were in there too. Perhaps your kids were buckled in safely and everyone is OK. Now what do you do? Are you aware that some crashed seats shouldn’t be used again, even if it was a minor fender bender? Each manufacturer has a guideline for you to follow regarding carseats involved in crashes and you may have two seats in your vehicle with two different guidelines. is here to help sort out these confusing times for you!