As Transport Month draws a close to and the country prepares to usher in the festive season, many South Africans are planning their holiday activities most of which will include road travel. It is important to keep in mind that this time of the year is notorious for road accidents and taking extra precaution is essential.
According to Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) experts, 1 017 children have died on South African roads in 2019 alone, most of them from being ejected out of vehicles after a collision. RTMC further revealed that when the country losses around 1 000 children a year in vehicle crashes, over 45 000 are hospitalised and the severity of the injuries ranging from head, neck, chest and abdominal, differ depending on age and whether the child was wearing a seatbelt.
Fastening children on seat belts remains the most effective method of reducing the risk of injury and fatality in road crashes and Mogale City’s Public Safety Division recommends the following:
- Always secure your child in a car seat when you drive anywhere whether it be to the mall, a long distance trip or around the corner
- Vehicles are not a child-friendly zone, you have to make them so with car seats
- Keep your child in the correct seat, it is dangerous to keep your child in a car seat that they have outgrown
- A child outgrows their sear when they have reached the upper weight margin of the seat OR their shoulder us higher than the highest belt adjustment of the seat
- Children under the age of 13 should ride on the back seat
- The safest seating in the vehicle is at the back in the centre
- Never use a car seat where there are airbags. Airbags deploy at 350km/h and can seriously injure your child and even cause death
For these reasons, if you have been reluctant to fasten your child in a car seat, put a stop to it right now to ensure your child’s safety on the road.