Category: Travel

The dangers inside your car in an accident

#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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Drive organised with a car folder

King Price Accident FormMy husband had a bumper bash, nothing serious, but it was a reminder that accidents do happen. Touch wood it has never happened to me, but it does make you think about how you would handle the situation and who you would call. A while back I put my car insurance details on a slip of paper in my cubby hole, but since then it got crumpled up and eventually thrown away (which had a lot to do with a banana I forgot in the glove compartment, if only I could forget the memory of its liquified remains). I wanted to replace these details with an info sheet which is more comprehensive and most importantly, had an extra copy of my details which could be handed over to the other driver involved in the accident. By having all my details already written down, I could avoid delays at the scene of the accident, especially when the kids are in the car. I also know that I get flustered, and having everything on paper will help me keep calmer and I’m less likely to forget something important.

So here are my tips for putting together a folder for your car:

  • Download the King Price 2 page accident form free printable. Make two copies and fill one out in advance with your details to hand to the other driver, and leave a blank copy for you to fill out their details. Print an extra copy for in the event that there are more than two vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Download my free 3 page family medical information printable. In an emergency, you will have all your medical aid information and family history at the ready to hand over to emergency services. If you have one, include a copy of your medical aid card as well. These details are handy to have in the car anyway for emergency trips to the doctor or hospital.
  • Fill out the printables in pencil, that way if any of the details change, you can easily erase and amend.
  • To stop my papers from getting damaged (again), I bought an A5 plastic folder from my local stationery store which fits neatly in my car cubby hole. Now my papers are all safely kept together and I keep a pencil in there too so I have something handy to write with.

Should you get into an accident (and I really hope you don’t), what should you do next?

  • Drive organised with a car folder by The Mommy CityCall traffic services or ambulance if needed and stay safely buckled in the car whilst you wait.
  • Take photos of the accident, damage to the cars and licence plates with your phone or camera.
  • Ask the other driver(s) politely for their information, and avoid hostility if possible.
  • Don’t admit liability for the accident. Leave it to your car insurance company to handle the claim.
  • Report the accident in person within 24 hours at the police station or traffic department.
  • Make a claim with your car insurance company and they will require all the details about the accident and photographic evidence.

Now that you are feeling organised, how about downloading my free family folder printable and sort your car insurance documents away safely so you have them ready in the event of a claim. If you were ever to claim from insurance, your claim will be paid to the value of your car at the time of the accident. So even though you may have been paying insurance on a higher value, you still only get paid out the car’s actual worth. That’s why keeping track of your car’s value and adjusting your insurance regularly so you don’t pay excessive premiums is crucial. King Price do this for you, and decrease your premiums every month as the value of your car depreciates. At least that’s one admin task you don’t have to do and you save R8 each month, which over the long term, really adds up. Bonus! Let’s hope you never have to claim, but if something ever did happen on the roads, at least you are now prepared with your free printable and advice from King Price.

This is a sponsored post for King Price.

Emergency Numbers

Hospital sign

It is always good to keep useful numbers at hand just in case of an emergency. Print them out or store them in your phone so they are at the ready. Here is a list of some of the hospitals in Cape Town.

Find a hospital in your area:

Bellville

City Bowl

Claremont

Durbanville

Milnerton

Mitchells Plain

Plumstead