Driving to work each morning from Tabarja to Sin El Fil for the past 6 years made me notice some cases that I would like to highlight and probably most of you noticed already.
Whenever each one of us is driving on the Lebanese highway, that is if I can call it a highway, we notice that a lot of women are sitting next to their driving husbands with an infant in their lap. More than that, a lot of times you see the father driving with his infant in his lap in the driver’s seat.
Children, and particularly infants, should be in the back seats in all circumstances. In most developed countries, drivers are penalized if the police catches them putting a child in the front seat until they have minimum the age of 9-10.Now, some might argue that the child will cry if not in his mother’s lap. Which is better: the infant crying or the mother and father crying on him after an accident? I think you all got the message. Crying will not hurt the infant, but his head hitting the dashboard will definitely do.
Researches have proved that if an infant weighs 10Kg, this weight will become 5 times more (i.e. 50Kg) upon an impact at only 40Km/h. Ladies, no matter how strongly you are holding your infant, you cannot hold 50Kg from flying from your hands straight into the dashboard or the wind screen not to mention hitting the airbag.
Speaking of airbags, Airbags can save lives if they are used to serve the purpose they are made of. Airbags should be used with seatbelts. By that I mean that during an accident, we are talking 1/30000 of a second here, if you are wearing the seatbelt, your face will just lean gently on the airbag because the seatbelt will take the impact force and hold your body tight to the seat. If you are not wearing the seatbelt, your face will move very fast and at the same time the airbag is coming out, so you will hit the airbag instead of leaning on it gently. It’s like hitting a basketball ball with a high speed, you can imagine the consequences.
Airbags’ life is about 10 years, after that, they might or might not deploy.
There are several electronics aids in modern cars today such as ABS, EBD, TCS, DSC, RBA, RSC..etc that I will talk about details in coming articles. I just want to highlight one simple fact that these electronics aids will help the driver avoid an accident (this is called Active safety) but they neither defy the laws of physics nor do miracles.
For example, a car equipped with a BSC or a traction control will help the driver take a corner at higher speeds than a car that is not equipped, but those electronics will never prevent a car from hitting a wall or rolling over if you try to negotiate a corner at a very high speed. So, yes, trust your car’s electronics, but don’t over trust.