5 Safety Features to Keep Children Safer in Your New Car
Your children are precious cargo, so when you are driving, you will want to keep them as safe as possible. Of course, you drive carefully and follow the rules of the road. But safety features incorporated into your new car also help to keep your kids as safe as possible when you’re driving. These features can give you peace of mind, and allow you to keep your eye on the road, where it belongs, rather than on your little passengers.
As much as they may plead to ride “shotgun” it’s not advisable for young children to sit up front. Instead, children under 4 feet 9 inches tall, as well as infants, should ride in the back seat. in a specially equipped car seat with enhanced restraints, rather than a regular car seat and seat belt. Infants and toddlers should ride in rear facing car sets placed in the back seat of the car. Instead, older children between the ages of eight and twelve should also sit in the back seat, placed in front-facing booster seats with harness restraints. As a rule of thumb, your child can safely ride in your car without a booster seat when he or she reaches the top allowable weight for the seat, when his or her ears reach the top of the seat and his or her shoulders are level with the top harness slots.
Automatic Door Locks
The last thing you want is for your child to accidentally leave the car, either while you’re driving or when you’re stopped. Automatic door locks installed on the back seat engage from the outside, preventing children from unlocking the door. The locks can be deactivated when you’re driving with adults as back seat passengers.
Safety Window Controls
Tiny fingers can easily be crushed by fast-closing windows. Auto-reverse window sensors “see” when a hand is positioned in the path of the window pane, and stop before any damage can be done. Window controls can also pose danger for children, who can press the control to open the window accidentally and climb out of the car. Window controls that must be pushed to open and pulled to close make it harder for children to open the window by accident.
Old style front seat air bags were responsible for the deaths of many children because they deployed with such force that they killed the infant on impact. Today’s front air bags are safer, so that if it is absolutely necessary for children to ride in the front seat, they are less likely to be injured or killed by an impact. However, it’s still safer for children to ride in the back seat with a car seat. In addition, side-impact air bags are specially designed to deploy in case of an accident that involves side impact of the car.
Trunk Release Levers
The trunk of a car can be a place of wonder for kids, who see it as a great hiding place or the perfect spot for secret club meeting or for a tea party. But wonder can soon turn to terror if your child finds himself or herself trapped inside. Trunk release levers allow a child to release the latch of the trunk from the inside, so that he or she can climb out of the car to safety.
Gillian Kearney has extensive experience in the automotive industry.
Her articles mainly appear on automotive and family blogs. Visit the Monkey link for more ideas.