I watched an interesting segment on Good Morning America on ABC this morning. It was about how dangerous loose objects can be in your car because in the case of a crash, they can become projectiles and cause serious injuries, or even deaths.
What they had to say was really common sense, but sometimes we have to be told about something before our common sense kicks in. Do you know what I mean?
George Clark was traveling in a car that got hit going 50 mph. Since a child was not in the car at the time, the untethered booster seat went a-flyin', slamming into George's head and basically annihilating his cheekbone and jaw. Ouch.
Did you ever think about that possibility? Or are you one of the wiser parents out there who either puts the unoccupied booster seat in the trunk or straps it in before heading out somewhere in the car? Because that's exactly what you should do.
I'm the first to admit my car is rather messy. At least it's not littered with plastic water bottles the way it used to be, now that I've given them up for the most part. But in their place is an occasional aluminum bottle tossed onto the floor of the back seat and forgotten about for a week or two. I never, ever thought about the safety issue of having a loose metal bottle rolling around just a few feet away from my grandbaby, strapped "safely" in her carseat! It's unbearable to think that my carelessness could cause great injury to her...or worse.
The reporter on GMA this morning advised throwing out your trash, as anything loose in your car can become a potentially dangerous projectile. CDs, audio books, soda cans, books....anything not strapped down or secured in some way will go flying in the case of an accident. Even passengers in the back of the car who are not belted in can be a danger -- not just to themselves, but to anyone else riding in the car. Same with pets.
Imagine this...at 55 mph, a object weighing just 20 lbs. will hit with 1,000 lbs. of force. 1,000 pounds!!
Whenever possible, toss everything into the trunk...groceries, suitcases, laptops, etc. Put your cell phone, iPod and kids' video games and toys in a secure location to ensure they don't go flying.
If you have a van or SUV, take advantage of the tether straps and get in the habit of securing the loose items in the back. I can't stress enough how vitally important this is!!
If you're traveling with heavy items, like coolers or suitcases that don't fit in the trunk, try to put them as far forward on the floor as possible. Keep them low and centered.
I've posted an excellent video from the GMA website at the bottom of the blog. Please take a couple of minutes to view the advice from the experts on safe travel. Those few minutes just might save a life.
In the meantime, I'm heading outside to declutter my car. Seatbelts, airbags, carseats, no-texting-while-driving....safety issues we have to heed. And now you know about another one.
Keeping it safe for you and your children,