Child Car Safety
Not very long back, I still remember the first car I was buying. Unlike most people I decided the only way, I will learn driving is if I learn it in my own car. My hubby would get over possessive if I managed even as much as a scratch on his car. I paid extra to buy the most premium model in the segment as it had airbags, ABS braking system, adjustable car height and made sure I bought a car seat for my little one. My husband had laughed back then as my hatchback cost me as much as his sedan, but we both knew that safety had a price that we were not willing to skimp on.
Safety is a word that is used very commonly without knowing the real meaning and the features that encompass the whole gamut of safety. I recently had a chance to hear Mr. Michael Mayer, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, speak and share his opinion on the key features that comprise of safety. I now have a clear idea on the safety features and a better stance and opinion on what safety means to me.
Things that you should look for beyond Speed and Mileage in a car
ABS This prevents the wheel from locking when brakes are applied until the time the vehicle stops. This prevents the car from spinning when sudden brakes are applied. There are so many times where I have thanked God for this feature, especially on crowded streets.
Parking sensors– Parking sensors assist you by warning when you get too close an object. I know that this is a great assist feature as I have scratched and banged my car initially many times when parking.
ESC or Electronic Stabilisation Control: this detects the critical situation in advance and does not let the car to skid. It brings your car back in control.
TCS or Traction Control System helps to move and accelerate on gradients and unfavourable road conditions.
EBD( Electronic Brake Force Distribution) : The centre of gravity of a car shifts forward when you brake. This creates a reduction in grip and can cause the rear wheels to lock. With an EBD system, there is an even distribution of the force applied while braking, to prevent the swerving of the rear wheel.
As a mother this was actually a great experience to learn and understand what safety features actually mean, it isn’t simply restricted to having airbags in a car.
Post and enlightening breakfast on the key features that one should opt for while investing in a new car, we then headed to Chakan to witness some real action on how Volkswagen incorporates safety features at every stage in vehicle production.
Mr. Chaitanya Halbe took us on a plant tour where we got to witness how a car is assembled. It was a fascinating experience and I was impressed on how much attention to detail the Volkswagen team pays to each car and in maintaining the plant. They make a car every 2 minutes and I also got to see robots who actually help in building a car!! Isn’t that cool?
Key features in a Volkswagen car which are specific for Child Car Safety
Key operated child lock: You can close and open the childlock in the back seat only with the help of the car key. So your kids can’t access it.
Child seat-Child seats are an effective and proven way to minimise injuries and deaths among children aged between 1 to 4 years and all the way up to 8 years. It secures the child and distributes the force of the impact. This protects the child’s neck and spine from injuries, should an accident occur. Not only putting your child in a car seat but ensuring that the car seat is properly fixed to the car is important and only an ISOFIX system can ensure that. Now I know that why I was never very comfortable when my car seat was a little loose.
Smart pinch-protection technology that automatically stops electric windows & sunroof when it detects a finger or other obstructions in its way.
While the features mentioned above are visible to the eye and one can easily understand and operate them. The most important form of safety lies in the built in the car. The way body is put together, these are not visible to the eye but are features that are essential.
Galvanised Steel body: A Volkswagen car has a galvanised sheet steel and the vehicle is subjected to solid wax flooding of body cavity areas which are at risk of being exposed to moisture. This not only gives the car the strength but also prevents corrosion thus ensuring a long life for the car.
Crossbeams at the front and the side doors increase the stiffness of the doors and distribute the energy in the event of a side-on crash, protecting the driver and the passengers. Most cars have non-existent crumple zones at the side of the vehicle, the occupants are at particular risk in the event of a side-on crash.
In case, of any short circuit, the doors of the car can be opened manually. This is important as usually the doors get jammed and you can get stuck in the car.
In an accident, the steering rod of the steering wheel brakes off and the leg does not get trapped between the steering wheel and the seat.
As a parent, it is imperative that we understand and insist on having these safety features present in the vehicle we buy. So ladies while our husband’s look for speed and mileage in a car, you can now impress on the safety measures that you have learned from this blog.
Jyotirmoy Sarkar says
Very nicely explained and analyzed.
Child safety in car is generally neglected in India, awareness is much needed.
Very nice post
menaka bharathi says
You have covered a very important aspect of parenting Prerna! It is very important for parents to know the safety features while travelling and have them too. We often say travel makes the child wiser, and to do that travel safely is also imperative.
Menaka Bharathi has recently published http://simpleindianmom.in/interior-designing-for-stay-at-home-moms/