Monday, July 19, 2010

Vehicle Safety Blog II

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are also concerned with your child’s safety. You place your children's safety at the top of your priority list. You shopped for the safest car when you started a family. You read up on car seats for kids and figured out which one worked best for you and your family. You even took your car and car seat to a seat-checking station to let an expert check and approve of your handiwork.

But did you know there are other dangers in and around your vehicle that could seriously harm or even kill your child?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled a list of vehicle dangers that we will be posting over the next couple of weeks. This week’s danger prevention tips from are about vehicle rollaway, seat belt entanglement, and back-over prevention.

Vehicle Rollaway

If you leave a child alone in a motor vehicle, whether the engine running or not, it doesn't take long for a child to unintentionally set your car in motion.

With the key in the ignition, automatic transmissions can be shifted out of “park” even if the vehicle’s engine is off and the driver’s foot is not on the brake. If you leave the key in the ignition and turned to the accessory mode (to listen to the radio, open/close the windows, etc.), your vehicle’s automatic transmission may be shifted out of “park” if you or your child move the gear selector.

Prevention Tips:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.

  • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.

  • Keep vehicle locked when unattended.

  • Never leave keys in the car.

  • Engage your emergency brake every time you park.

  • Verify whether or not your vehicle has a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI).

What you need to know, now:

  • When the vehicle is set in motion, children may become scared and jump out of the vehicle only to be injured or run over. They can also be hurt inside the vehicle, especially if they are unbelted and the vehicle is in motion. Sometimes, the vehicle may end up running over someone else.

  • Many vehicles today have a BTSI which is a safety technology intended to prevent children from accidentally putting a vehicle into gear.

  • All vehicles with automatic transmission with a Park position, manufactured for sale after September 1, 2010, must have BTSI.

Seat Belt Entanglement

The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. This feature is designed for child seat installation. In instances when the locking feature activates, the child may not be able to free him or herself.

This can happen if you do not properly restrain your child, for example, if you let the child lie down or sleep on the vehicle seat, instead of being properly restrained. Older children who are no longer in a child restraint system, can become entangled by pulling a seat belt all the way out of the retractor, or by playing with an unused seat belt.

If you used your vehicle's Lower Anchors and Tether for Children (LATCH) system to install the car seat, your child may be able to reach an unused belt.

Prevention Tips:

  • Do not let children play in or around cars.

  • Never leave a child unattended in or around a vehicle.

  • Always ensure children are properly restrained.

  • Teach children that seat belts are not toys.

  • Be aware that some seat belts have a retractor that locks if pulled all the way out.

  • If a child has an unused seat belt within reach:

  • Buckle unused seat belts. Pull the seat belt out all the way to the end without yanking. Then, feed the excess webbing back into the retractor.

  • If a child seat is installed with LATCH, consider completing the steps above before you install the child seat. Always consult your child seat and vehicle owner's manual for installation instructions.


Many children are killed or seriously injured in back-over incidents. A back-over incident typically occurs when a car coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over a child because the driver did not see him/her.

Prevention Tips:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars

  • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles

  • Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.

  • Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.

  • Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.

  • Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.

  • Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.

  • Take extra care if you drive a large vehicle because they are likely to have bigger blind zones. Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you'll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.

  • Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.

  • Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.

  • Many cars are equipped with detection devices like backup cameras or warning sounds, but they cannot take the place of you actively walking around your car to make sure your children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what's behind your vehicle.

For more information about vehicle safety or to view the source of this article, please visit

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