#CarseatFullstop Loose objects in the car become dangerousThis is the second year I am participating in the #CarseatFullstop campaign which aims to educate parents about the importance of car seats for children up to 12 years of age. The campaign was founded last year by concerned Cape Town mom and blogger, Mandy Lee Miller. When statistics show that 93% of children are not buckled up, the need for car safety education is evident. Car passenger deaths are actually the fourth leading cause of death in children in South Africa. Many of those deaths are preventable.

The campaign has grown this year, with 31 bloggers and social media influencers taking to their online platforms to help spread awareness amongst parents and caregivers. I will be sharing articles over the next few weeks on car seats and please go like the #CarseatFullstop Facebook page for all the updates. This year I want to focus my article on the dangers that are inside our car, not just what’s out on our roads.

Loose objects in our car

I was in the car the other day and I looked across to my dashboard, where I had stored my cellphone and garage remote. It got me thinking what would happen if we were in an accident, and how my cellphone could hit the kids in the backseat. My cellphone seems innocent enough on the dashboard, besides of course the risk of smash-and-grab, which is pretty low in Knysna. But did you know that when a car crashes or suddenly stops, the object takes on the weight of the speed you were travelling multiplied by its actual weight? In short, that cellphone can become a dangerous flying projectile.

What about everything else that is left lying around the car? I’ve put together some of the items we often store in our car in the photo above, and here are a few more to consider, including:

  • Grocery bags. If you brake suddenly while traveling at 50kmh, groceries in the back seat will hit you with the same force as if they had fallen from a two-storey building (see source).
  • Sporting equipment. Ensure all items are stored in a bag, especially golf clubs etc.
  • Luggage
  • Tools
  • Laptop
  • Kid’s play-tables

If you search YouTube, there are various crash test videos demonstrating these dangers. It is also worth considering how much damage an object can do to an infant versus an adult.

Storing objects safely in the car

Look around your car and decide what can be removed and to safely store the rest. Here are some helpful points:

  • Wear your seat belt. Unrestrained people and children can do more damage in an accident, than the accident itself.
  • Same goes for pets. Yes, you can get pet seatbelts too.
  • Secure unused car seats.
  • Safely store items in the boot/trunk.
  • Install a cargo net or tie items down if the boot space is left open.
  • Install roof racks or use a trailer if the car is overloaded.
  • Pack heavier and larger items on the rear floor of the car, and if possible, push back the front seat to wedge them in place.
  • Store sunglasses, cellphones and smaller items in the glove compartment.

With statistics saying that up to 93% of people aren’t strapping in their kids in South Africa, we ALL know somebody who is adding to that number.

“You have the power to save a little life.
One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life.
#CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.”

You can donate car seats your little one has outgrown to Wheel Well. Drop seats at any Renault dealership or get in touch with Wheel Well through their website

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