Brian Joss – Research carried out by the American Automobile Association shows that safety belts and child car seats are the most effective devices in preventing serious injuries and deaths in vehicle crashes.
The research states that seat belts and car seats are in contact with the strongest parts of the body, spread crash forces over a wide area and help the body slow down to protect the brain and spinal cord.
This is according to Peggie Mars, the founder and managing director of Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation that advocates for children’s road safety in South Africa, who was speaking at the recent Women in Transport Conference.
The information on child safety and the importance of properly restraining a child in a child seat while travelling in a vehicle resonated strongly with co-panellist, Pertunia Sibanyoni, CEO of InspectaCar.
“If we consider the number of vehicle collisions that happen every day in South Africa, there is no doubt that it’s imperative for parents to ensure that their children are always strapped in correctly,” says Sibanyoni.
Additional studies by the Centre for Disease Control have revealed that buckling children into age-and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and the use of safety belt harnesses, reduces the risk of death to infants (aged 1 year) by 71%, to toddlers (aged 1 – 4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45 % for children aged 4 – 8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
In light of this information, InspectaCar will be collecting, refurbishing and donating car seats to those less fortunate, as part of a Council for Scientific Research (CSR) initiative to pay-it-forward.
“We are appealing to parents who own a child car seat that they no longer use to consider donating it to a deserving family. Our dealerships around the country will be the drop off points for the pre-owned car seats. We will then ensure that they are sent to Wheel Well for the necessary checks and refurbishment,” Sibanyoni says.
CAPTION: Pontso Mohlotsane, key accounts manager, WesBank Motor Division, hands over a new car seat, to Frikkie van Rensburg managing director of InspectaCar Morgan Motors, to start the initiative.