Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Side Airbag Off" - Tales From the Road II

My older son is 12. He still sits in the back seat with his 8yr old brother, who is in a booster seat and will be for another year.

When they were younger, long trips were a nightmare. I resigned myself to traveling at night just so I could drive without them yelling in my ears, getting on my nerves and at times being dangerous distractions.

I've honestly lost track of how many times I've pulled over to the side of the road for a 'do you have any idea how dangerous that was?!?!??!' speech.

This year, it wasn't so bad. They kept the arguing to a minimum and I didn't have to pull over once :-D

Although I've thought of putting Alec in the front to simply separate them. I've never done it. An air bag can deploy at almost 300 kilometres an hour. I don't want to find out what sort of damage it would do if it happened to deploy with him sitting there in front of it.

In Nova Scotia the laws for child restraints is pretty clear.

The Four Stages of Child Restraint Use

Stage One: Rear-Facing Infant Seat
0 – 10 kg (22 lb.)
Birth to around 1 year old

Stage Two: Forward-Facing Child Seat
10 – 18 kg (22 – 40 lb.)
About 1 – 4 ½ years old

Stage Three: Booster Seat
18 – 36 kg (40 – 80 lb.)
About 4 ½ – 8 years old

Stage Four: Seat Belt
Over 36 kg (80 lb.)
About 8 – 12 years old

Lately, Alec has been asking to sit in the front seat.

I've been saying "No."

He knows he's 'big enough', but I just feel safer with him in the back.

It only takes one fluky child/airbag death incident to make you think twice about having them in the front.

While we were away, he and I were getting out, just the two of us, for a coffee run and some quiet time. As we were leaving he asked, "Mom ...can I sit in the front?"

I said yes.

Then something interesting happened.

We got in. I started the vehicle. Before putting it into drive, I noticed a light on the dashboard which hadn't been there before. It was the 'passenger air bag disabled' light.

It stayed on the entire time we were out.

The next time I started it, the light was off again. It hasn't been on since.

A built in weight sensor maybe? Simply one of those freaky things that happens to us, that I don't bother to question ... ? Most likely the sensor ;-)

He's still sitting in the back. Much as he dislikes it. And much as he still argues with his brother at times lol. But I don't have to worry about him getting blown to bits by an airbag in a parking lot fender bender back there.

Just deflecting whatever verbal and physical arsenal his brother may be shooting at him instead lol.

Night all! Buckle Up! Seat belts, AND airbags DO saves lives!



CraftyLzrd said...

Something similar happened in the Pathfinder I had years ago. (the airbag light was blinking) so I took it in to get it looked at. Turns out the sensor had gone bad and if I had gotten in a wreck NEITHER of them would have deployed. Though it is weird that it came on when he was in the front seat. Maybe there are gremlins in your car ;)

Bonnie S. said...

Alex (is a mechanic) and said some vehicles do have a sensor. I know my sister drives a Vibe and once had her laptop on the passenger seat and her seat belt light kept ringing for the seatbelt to be fastened. LOL Cool feature though!