Have you ever sat in your car on the side of the road or at the traffic lights, just watching the people who drive past? Have you ever wondered what’s going on in their lives? Have you watched couples as they argue whilst they wait for the lights to turn green, and seen the child excitedly tell their parents what happened that day as they drive away from school.
Take a moment and observe. Now count the number of people talking on their phones (with no hands-free), texting, smoking, texting and smoking, eating or reading (I kid you not). I count about half of the drivers I see. I don’t do these things, but I have also on occasion driven whilst distracted. I’ve driven tired, my mind occupied with the events of the day, and had the kids shouting at me from the back. I would say I’m a good driver – never had a speeding ticket or accident (touch wood) – but I have been distracted at times.
What worries me on the road is not my own driving, but rather having to anticipate what every other driver is doing whilst they should be watching the wheel. I worry about what’s happening in their lives, what they are doing, which is distracting them whilst they should be focusing on the road.
Bad driving doesn’t discriminate between age, race, gender or vehicle type. I have observed all types of drivers failing to follow the rules of the road, jump a red light, and not buckle up their kids. It’s for this reason I insist my children are always strapped in their car seats. Yes, it is a legal requirement and I enjoy the fact that I can lawfully restrain my children, if only whilst in the car. But it’s the actions of every other driver that reminds me that I cannot guarantee we won’t have an accident, but I can ensure that my family has the best chance of walking away from it.
Over the next few weeks, I will be joining the #CarseatFullstop campaign, together with a group of parenting bloggers, media and sponsors. The campaign will raise awareness of car safety and reduce the shocking statistic that 84% of children are unrestrained on our roads. Come on South Africa, let’s drive safe and protect our children. If this matters to you, please LIKE #CarseatFullstop on Facebook, please SIGN UP for the newsletter, please FOLLOW on Twitter, please FOLLOW on Instagram or on Google+. Please invite your friends and family and colleagues to these platforms. And when you read the #CarseatFullstop stories, please hit the share button.
#CarseatFullstop – no excuses, no ifs or buts. Always, every time.
If you have an old car seat you are no longer using, please drop these seats at a Volvo dealership or get in touch with Wheel Well. Previously owned car seats are cleaned and refurbished by Wheel Well so that they can be donated to families in need. Every child deserves to be safe in a car, and together we can make that happen.