Does your car look like this
when you pack for a trip?
Did you know that because of the forces in a crash,
things will weigh their usual weight TIMES the speed of a crash?
Your 20 pound stroller will weigh 600 pounds in a 30mph crash!
(20lb x 30mph = 600 lbs)
Here are some tips to pack safely:
- Prioritize what you pack: If you don't need it, or can get it when you get to your destination, don't bring it.
- Trunk it! - Pack the heaviest items in the trunk - and if you need to have items in the passenger area, make sure they are the lightest items you are taking (like extra pillows, etc). If you have a minivan, SUV, or wagon - you don't have a separate trunk. If there is a 3rd row of seats, try keeping the seats up to serve as a barrier between the cargo and the passengers. Pack the heaviest items against the back of the vehicle seat and the lightest items closest to the trunk opening. When you slam on the brakes, the nose of the car goes down - making the things closest to the trunk opening the most likely to fly up and over into the passenger area - so make these items the lightest ones that you are packing. Note: the horizontal cargo covers that come with most SUVs and wagons will not keep cargo restrained - they are simply so that no one can see what you have in your trunk. A few vehicles - such as the Volvo SUVs and wagons - have optional steel barriers to separate the cargo area.
- Keep your pets safe - and keep yourself safe from your pet: A 20lb dog will weigh 600lbs in a 30mph crash. IMMI, the company that makes the harness straps, buckles, LATCH straps and other hardware for most car seats sold in the US has a pet harness that is crash tested and can keep your dog from flying around in the event of a crash (other pet harnesses will simply break). It works for both small and large dogs and allows the dog to sit or lie down - but will prevent the dog from flying around the car in a crash (and from jumping on top of your child during a regular car ride).
- The OUCH Test: When giving your child a toy in the car, try to make it as soft and lightweight as possible. Not sure if the toy would hurt - do the ouch test - take the toy, hit yourself in the head - if you have to say ouch it would likely hurt if it hit the child in a crash. One other thing that fails the ouch test - the mirrors that you can place on the rear head rest to see the baby. Not only are they a danger to the baby - but they are also a danger to everyone else in the car as they are a distraction to the driver - encouraging the driver to stare at the very cute baby, instead of the road ahead.