November 08, 2004

How Do I Buckle Up

How Do I Buckle Up Correctly

Buckling up can be confusing, where do children sit, how far should I be from the airbag, etc.

Here are pointers from the NHTSA:

For adults: The rules are simple. Always wear your belt, but make sure you leave at least 10 inches between your chest and the airbag, to avoid injury(ed note: the correct way to measure if your a "shorter" women is from your nose to the steering wheel, since the airbags deploy at an angle for shorter women it will hit more center on in that area). Many women and smaller adults have difficulty reaching the pedals at that distance. Fortunately, a few vehicles, such as Ford's Expedition, offer adjustable pedals that eliminate this problem. If you are in the market for a new or different car, make sure it fits you first.

For children older than 12: Your child has graduated to the front seat, and will be safe even if there is a passenger-side airbag. Just make sure your child maintains a safe distance from the airbag (10 inches) (ed note: again use the nose to airbag ratio) and keeps the heavy metal on the radio to a minimum.

For small children or those 12 and younger: Every child riding in a car belongs in the back seat, properly belted, boosted, or seated in a child-safety seat. Make sure you have the proper device for your child's size, then put them in back - preferably in the center position. And keep an eye out for two advances coming in child-seat safety: the federally mandated Universal Child Safety Seat Standard, which uses an easier tether setup to correctly install new seats, and DaimlerChrysler's child-seat check stations, which the automaker plans to open in the coming year. Call your local dealer to see if they participate in this program.

For Infants: All infants MUST face the rear of the car. To protect their still-developing bodies, place your infants in a rear-facing seat in the back. NEVER place a rear-facing seat in the front passenger side of a vehicle equipped with dual frontal airbags. There is but one exception: some vehicles have a turn-off switch that disables the bag, mostly two-seaters and trucks. Make sure to activate the off switch and buckle in properly.

For any type of child or infant seat if your not sure how to install it take it to your local police station. They know how to install the seats correctly and can teach you how.

And remember NHTSA has estimated that seatbelts have saved 100,000 lives between 1975 and 1997, I'm one of those lives.

Posted by Quality Weenie at November 8, 2004 09:24 AM