The video recorded while driving a car, published by Dorota Gardias on social media, sparked a wave of criticism. The presenter’s daughter, visible on the video, has her legs on the dashboard, her seat belts are not correctly fastened, and an unsecured dog is sitting next to her. Gardias quickly reflected and apologized for her behavior, but it turns out that there are many parents who refuse to transport their children safely. What should the security considerations look like? Why is it not worth giving up the seat in favor of a polystyrene pad or a belt shortener?
Blown up at the wheel
“I wholeheartedly admit that I committed stupidity yesterday, and the thought of its consequences, which could have followed, makes me feel faint. Sometimes a man is so thoughtless, so embarrassed, so tired and consequently … stupid. We waited so much for Hania for for a moment together, we were packing in such a rush, there was so little space to organize everything, that when we got on the route, happy that it was already here, I completely forgot about the most important thing – that we should get there safely “- she wrote on her Instagram Dorota Gardias after she was criticized by internet users for driving dangerously with her daughter.
“It is difficult to be a mother, it is difficult to say no to a child … we want our children to always smile. And sometimes we forget that our primary task is not to provide our treasures with comfort but safety. However, I am not making excuses” – she added.
Safety is paramount
Indeed, just like the presenter, many parents forget that safety is more important than the seat considered by older children as “embarrassing” and showing the world that “this is such a big child”.
– It’s never too much. When I look at this recording, I can see that everything that is happening on it is unacceptable. Starting from using the phone while driving, which distracts the driver, through carrying a child under 150 cm tall in the front seat with an unsecured dog sitting next to it, to what is in my opinion the most unacceptable, i.e. carrying a child without proper protection, i.e. a car seat – says Małgorzata Mulak, an expert from Compet, a company dealing with motor claims settlement.
Some time ago she found out that the car seat can really save a life. Małgorzata was taking her daughter Majka to school. The accident happened on Puławska Street in Warsaw. Another car crashed into her car, it turned from the opposite lane and cut the green belt. As a result of hitting the driver’s door, Małgorzata’s car turned 180 degrees and stopped only after a head-on collision with another vehicle.
– I am one hundred percent sure that it was the car seat that prevented her from being hurt. This is what the paramedics and firefighters present said. I can even boldly say that he saved her life – he says.
The car seat saved the life of Majka, Małgorzata Mulak’s daughter
Photo: Małgorzata Mulak / Facebook / Ofeminin
What do the regulations say?
The only condition of the safety regulations that apply to drivers in Poland regarding the transport of children is that a seat or other safety device is to be used when the child’s height is up to 150 cm, but there is no weight or age criterion. Parents often want to forget about safety seats very quickly and switch to polystyrene pads or, even worse, lack of any security.
– They often explain it by taking a short or well-known route from home to school. After all, in their opinion, nothing can happen along the way, since they have covered this section so many times and they could ride it even with their eyes closed. This is wrong thinking. Accidents happen both on long and short stretches of road. And the latter, according to statistics, is, contrary to appearances, more frequent – says Małgorzata Mulak.
Why a car seat and not a pad?
Although the regulations allow the use of washers and prevent parents from paying a fine, experts say they do not provide security.
– Such a seat does raise the child, but the lap belt then goes in the wrong place, which in the event of an accident may cause the child to slip out or break the pelvis and damage internal organs. So this solution has more disadvantages than advantages. It also does not protect the head and does not protect the body from side collisions, which happens in as much as 30%. accidents of this type – explains Mulak.
In addition, the child, while riding in the seat, has an adjustable headrest, which means that the upper part of the belt runs through the center of the chest, and this is the only appropriate way to properly secure it.
Therefore, the seat is the only recommended solution when it comes to the safety of children. It is best to choose those with five stars in the ADAC tests (car seat tests – editor’s note). Better to spend a little more money and not go for the cheapest supermarket car seats.
– It is really worth paying attention to the age and weight of the child, not only to its height. Even those children over 150 cm tall, but of a fragile build, should be transported in a car seat. When my daughter Majka grew up to 36 kg from the seat, I decided to look for a suitable solution for her. It turned out that there are seats on the market with American approval for children up to 164 cm and 54 kg weight, and I do not have to use such weak solutions as a pad or belt shorteners. Thanks to this, I was still sure that my daughter travels safely – says Małgorzata Mulak.
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