The intrepid traveler on our roads is likely to see some of the most beautiful scenery that you can find in the whole world. Breathtaking vistas of green hills, blue mountains in the distance and the rivers, sometimes meandering, sometimes storming, finding their way down to the sea. In and amongst this abundant beauty that nature blesses us with, with far too regular intervals, this traveler will also see some of the most disturbing sights: the unrestrained child in a vehicle.
One of the variations on this phenomena, and undoubtedly the most dangerous, is the child on a parent’s lap. This child has a little chance of a collision or even a sudden stop. In the event of a collision, this child will keep on going forward at the speed that the car traveled prior to the collision and hit the dashboard with a crash force that is calculated by multiplying weight with speed. The air bag will then explode at a speed of 350 km/h into this child while the body of the mother forces the child back onto the dash. The child will not survive.
Another sight very likely to be seen is the unrestrained child sitting on the back seat. The child is content and happy, an ideal picture one would think. Until the vehicle is involved in a collision. This child will be tossed about the inside of the vehicle, much like a rag doll in a tumble dryer, hitting other occupants, the interior furnishings of the vehicle, and unsecured items flying about during the collision. An aspect of the collision not visible to the onlooker, is the internal organs of this child hitting against the cavity walls of the body, crushing them in the process. The outcome for the child is not good.
You could also potentially see the unrestrained child leaning between the front seats, happily chatting to the parents, maybe even singing along as they travel to their long anticipated holiday destination. As heartwarming as this may seem, it is also fraught with danger. Children are top heavy and will fly head first into the next object during a collision. This can be the gear lever, the dash or even the windscreen. Depending on the speed prior to the collision, the child might be thrown through the windscreen on to the bonnet or the road in front.
Are you and your family in one of the scenes pictured above? Have you carefully considered the dangers involved in not restraining your children? At least 4 children a day are killed due to a crash every day. Are you willing to take these risks with your family that you love and adore?
Next time you embark on a journey, make sure that all members of your family are properly secured in the appropriate restraints. Even if that journey is just down the road to the shop.
Many parents can, however, not afford to purchase car seats new. You can help! Your used car seat can go on to keep a kid in the car safe. So instead of letting it gather dust, donate it to us!