by Brandy Schaffels of Motor Trend
National Child Passenger Safety Week occurs each year during the week of Valentine's Day, bringing public attention to the importance of safely transporting children. You've heard me spouting off on the importance of keeping our kids strapped into their safety seats, but being properly belted is an important issue once they outgrow their booster seats as well.
Volvo sent us a press release today to remind about the importance of keeping our children properly buckled in the back seat of the car. If you want to read the entire thing complete with facts and web links -- and I hope you do -- click to the full news item here http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2007/112_news070213_child_passenger_safety_week/. In the mean time, I've condensed it down to a shorter version for our blogs.
Q: What can turn a 60 pound child into a 2,700-pound elephant?
A: A 30-mph crash.
Force = Mass x Acceleration.
While that may be an oversimplification, the fact is the laws of physics are unyielding. Imagine this: A 60-pound unbelted child in the back seat of a car traveling at a mere 30 miles per hour in a sudden collision can weigh as much as a young elephant - about 2,700 pounds. That means the child can, during a frontal accident, impact the windshield or the front seat occupant - with deadly force. Not a pretty physics lesson.
False: An unbelted person in the rear seat is safe.
True: It's a human tragedy that is easy to prevent with a simple CLICK!
Some important statistics.
Accidents will happen, but they don't have to become tragedies. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 7,896 children under the age of 5 were saved from 1975 to 2005 by the use of safety belts and child restraints. Among passengers over the age of 4, seat belts saved an estimated 15,632 during the same period.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, 75 percent of all crashes occur within 25 miles of home. And most of those take place on roads with maximum speed limits of 40 mph or less.
In 2005, 1,946 children age 14 or younger were killed riding as passengers in motor vehicle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that motor vehicle crashes account for one in three injury deaths among children. Further, it states that crash injuries are the leading cause of death among 5-12-year olds. Additionally, NHTSA states that of the children ages 0 to 14 years who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2005, nearly half were unrestrained. Unrestrained. That's simply shameful.
Not worried enough yet? Then watch this NHTSA Test video showing the danger of holding an infant in your lap during a crash at just 35 miles per hour. An unrestrained child will behave in pretty much the same way.
Download the NHTSA Infant Lap Crash
So do your part for car safety. Help protect that most precious cargo of all - buckle them up. No one wants an elephant in the back seat.
Additional information on National Child Passenger Safety Week can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's site at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/spotlite/chldseat.htm
For more information about the proper use of booster seats, please visit