Apr 1, 2011

Common Sense...vehicle edition

Continuing on with the Common Sense series. Previous version can be found here.

How often do you, as an adult, ride in the backseat of a car?
How often do your children ride in the backseat of your car?

Hmmmm...adults obviously can ride in the backseat and may often do that in a big city carpool, but if they have the choice, they ride in the front seat, right?
Children have no choice, they must ride in the backseat.

So why, oh why, do car makers set up the backseats for adults and make parents modify the set up for kids? (by using carseats and boosters to make sure children get up high enough so that the seat belts don't hurt them)

Doesn't it make sense to think a little differently. What if car makers actually made the backseats for children who are under 4 feet tall by moving the seat belts accordingly, moving the belt mechanisms so they can easily be clipped by little hands, and making sure that there is actually enough room in the backseat for things like rear-facing carseats.

I've said it before on this blog, but the most difficult part of having 4 kids so young in age is getting them all in and out of the car. Several years ago I got rid of my fun little BMW and bought a minivan. With kids, it's the best transportation decision I could have made and already has literally saved me thousands of dollars in insurance money from the kids opening doors into other people's cars.

But I'm flabbergasted by the fact that my rear-facing baby carseats are too big for a minivan. Isn't that what minivans are designed to carry? Henry's seat can only go behind the front passenger seat because if it were behind the driver's side I would have to be hugging the steering wheel to drive. As it is, whenever we all go out, my husband has to sit with his knees in the dash, or he has to drive because there is just not enough room for that baby seat.

And you would really laugh if you witnessed the acrobatics it takes to get the girls in their seats. I've tried several different configurations and only found one that works - but it involves me getting inside the car almost completely to buckle them while wrenching my back to lift them up and scoot them sideways into their seats. Ridiculous!

Here's what it looks like when they're all in. If I had one more child we would have to get a much bigger vehicle because you can't even fit 3 car seats next to each other!
I'd happily buy an adult seat belt extender for backseats instead of buying all the apparatus for my kids to fit. So let's go car makers...a new project for your innovation teams. I know you can do it!

1 comment:

  1. I can see where that would be a problem-acrobatic included. To think we used to have five kids in the back of the station wagon-all without seatbelts! Thinking back I'm glad there are angels.


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