I want to share a story with you. It’s kind of long but it’s very important, so I hope you’ll read the whole thing.
This is a friend’s crashed van. She, her husband and their three daughters (almost 7, almost 5, and almost 3) were traveling on a highway near Phoenix, AZ. Their van hit something in the road, lost control, hit a divider, rolled onto the driver’s side, skidded across four lanes of traffic and went airborne before coming to a rest completely upside down.
This is the driver’s side, the side they skidded on. The husband was driving, mom was sitting in the middle row with one of the kids, and the other two kids were in the third row.
Miraculously, all five of them will be okay. Two of the children were treated and released immediately. The husband has a lung contusion and road burns, mom is in a neck brace and has severe road burns, and the middle child has a broken leg. The almost-3yo was still rear-facing, and she was the ONLY ONE to walk away from this crash without a single bruise or scratch on her body.
Pretty scary crash, right? But EVERYONE IS OK!
And this, my friends, is why I work so hard to help people keep their kids safe in the car. Because you can’t choose whether you’re going to be in a crash, and you can’t choose what kind of crash you’re going to be in. Why not prepare for the worst?
I don’t mean to be preachy – ever – but I hope that all of you will think long and hard about how your own family rides in the car. This could happen to anyone, but this family essentially walked away from what could have been/should have been a fatal crash because they were all properly restrained. The nearly-7YO and nearly-5YO were still in harnessed car seats (not boosters) and the almost-3YO was rear facing.
Please, please keep your little ones rear-facing past at least age 2, harnessed until they outgrow their seat, and then in a booster until the adult seat belt fits correctly. This story had a happy ending, but the next one may not.