In order to keep children occupied on a trip we often give them items to play with such as toys, games consoles or cell phones without stopping to consider what this could mean in the event of a crash. In fact, it does not even have to be a crash, merely sharply braking could cause the object to hit the passengers.
-Toys. They can be a distraction but they are also very dangerous in the event of a crash, especially if they hard hard edges or weigh a certain amount.
-Video games. According to the Department of Traffic, a games console weighing a mere 218 grams can reach a weight of 7.8 kg if the vehicle applies the brakes sharply at 50 km/h. If the vehicle is traveling at 90 km/h, we would be looking at a weight of 25 kg.
The Department of Traffic explains how to calculate this weight using the following example: “in a sudden impact at 60 km/h against a hard object which does not absorb all of the impact and with a stopping distance of 0.25 meters, acceleration reaches 558.78 m/s. The force of the driver's impact would be equal to its mass (weight in kilos divided by gravity: 9.8) times acceleration”.
-Tablets and cell phones. A 560 gr Tablet, in the event of a sharp braking at 50 km/h, would be similar to that of crashing into a 23 kg object. When traveling at 90 km/h, we would be dealing with a 75 kg weight.
-We should also refrain from hanging dangerous objects from the headrest, such as screens, especially when it comes to rear-facing seats. If there is not an appropriate space between the child car seat and the headrest, and if the seat and the child are not well-secured this can pose a huge risk. Generally speaking, a child in a child car seat should not be crashing into the backrest but, if it were to occur, it would be preferable for them to do so into a cushioned surface rather than a hard screen.
-The child car seat itself should be properly anchored even when the child is not in it, since it could just as easily come loose. All passengers should be wearing their seat belts, and pets should be secured as well (find out here how they should be traveling).
-Backpacks. The best place for a backpack is in the trunk. We should bear in mind that they can often weigh a considerable amount due to the school materials in them.
-Sharp objects, thing with sharp edges, hard materials… In essence, it is best not to have any loose objects inside the passenger compartments of the vehicle.
-We should also not leave suitcases or baggage in the seats next to the child.