Margarita Kondratyeva
"Movement for Safe Traffic" member

Not you, rest assured

02 October 2011

Most of my friends and family members own cars. And almost all have children. They all live in Moscow making good money. My friends pursue different careers: they are lawyers and managers, journalists and designers, teachers and doctors. Typical middle class.
Most of them carry the children in car seats. Especially - the babies. Especially when they drive long hauls.
Most of my friends have an important exception to the rule. "You can skip fastening at the territory of the holiday village". "Quick ride from the house to the school". "Car seat works best on the highway". "Car seat rule should be observed only abroad". "My child is almost 140 cm tall - why put him into the seat". "Baby cannot be carried in the seat; the baby has a gentle spine".
Most of my friends are educated and intelligent people. They care about their safety and, especially about the safety of their children. They do not fly charter planes, they use only licensed taxis, they prefer using homeopathic medicines, they do not buy Chinese toys for their children or foreign toxic soda that dissolves nails. However, sometimes they forget the car seat in the trunk.
I spent the whole month scanning Internet on the issue of child safety in cars. I read articles, watch videos of social advertising, and that the worst, I watch real-video recordings. Recordings of real car accidents made using dashboard cameras.
VAZ model "six" is driving the oncoming traffic lane. Sharp turn. In the opposite direction a "Gazelle" is moving. "Six" is trying to avoid a collision. There is a side impact. A baby is catapulted on the road through the windshield. The baby is followed by adult. The adult gets up taking the baby in the arms...
More and more babies are catapulted... Adult takes the baby in the arms... The nightmare is haunting me at night, in the morning, when I'm taking my child to school. I check the belt tension, adjust the seat. My daughter is 135 cm tall. I used to drive her in the booster – a seat with armrests. Now I brought the car seat back in the salon.
I'm trying to tell my friends this story. "Skip the gory details" - they press their palms around their ears. "I won’t open the link you had sent me" - they shut their eyes. "Say no more" - they are sealing my lips. Every Saturday my friends are carrying my daughter to the art school. I bought a booster for my daughter to seat in their car. "Why bother? - they are puzzled. - We are driving her not far, we go slowly and the trips are rare. Once a week, at a speed of 60 km / h". I suggest buying a booster for their daughter as well. "What for? She is almost 140 cm tall".
My other friends are driving my daughter every other day to the school. Over the distance of 1 km to the next street. I ask to buckle her up. "Why? She's sitting in the back seat",- they are puzzled. There is their son sitting next to my daughter in the backseat.
Other real-video. Another vehicle. The city. The car pulls away gaining speed. The speed is still low – only 20-30 km / h. The car is turning to the left. A door opens at the turn. A baby is falling out of the open car...
My well-educated, intelligent friends flatly reject the laws of physics. When braking at speed of 50 km / h the weight of an object increases 30 by times. I'm embarrassed to invite them to view the Polish public service announcements where a passengers flying around the cabin during the crash is killing inside all passengers fastened by safety belt, including the driver.
I do not want to remind them that children are more exposed to the risk of MVA consequences than adults. Their bones are thinner, the skin is more delicate.
In my company my friends refer to me as a bore. I'm talking about a very unpleasant things. The things that are scary to think about. Not to mention imagining these things happen in reality.
Friends have told me about bricks falling on my head.
Plus, I am scan internet, I get the monthly statistics from the traffic police about the traffic accident rate in the country. From the year beginning the mortality rate among children passengers increased by 10% compared to last year. 270 children have been dead and 4767 children sustained injuries. Most of them were not sitting in the child car seats or were not buckled. The pure fault of adults.
And, of course, this does not apply to you my dear friends, dear mothers and fathers.



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