Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

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  1. #1
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Just Curious...............

    Being a big advocate for Car Crash Safety, and Car Seat Safety I was wondering why people still buy unsafe cars. We(the people on this forum) research car seats and their safety, and the safest place to install and how to install, but why do some people still have unsafe cars. Doesn't it defeat the purpose of having a safe carseat and install if the car they are riding in isn't even safe? One of the main deciding factors of my Husband and I picking the cars we have is because of such HIGH Safety Crash Ratings. I am just wondering why we still continue to purchase cars with such unbelievably low safety crash ratings???? Please enlighten me on your decision! Thanks
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that anyone who takes the time to visit forums and websites like this one will buy a relatively safe vehicle the next time they purchase. It's the people who just buy on a whim with no research or concern for safety that give automakers incentive to keep producing models with poor crash test results and minimal standard safety features.

  4. #3
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    I think buying a whim is correct. I have several friends who unbelievably bought a car the FIRST day they went car shopping. My husband and I spend about 4-6 months alone researching. I have seen on this forum some incredibly great parents who obviously care a tremendous amount about the safety of their children, but their car choice is puzzling to me. That's what I am curious about... But, yes you are right!
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Maggie's Avatar
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    Well you have to remember not everyone has money to go out and buy the safest car on the market. I buy what I'm able to afford. I drive a 10 year old minivan. It cost me $2000. Sure I'd love to buy a brand new van Honda or Toyota van, but I don't have the money. I bought what I was able to afford. I'm not sure what exactly you are implying, but just because I didn't spend $30,000 on the "safest" vehicle doesn't mean I want to put my child in harms way. I bought what I could afford and then I bought Britax seats.

    I probably could have swung $3000 for a vehicle, but I decided to purchase top of the line Britax seats. That's why car seat advocates research car seat safety, the safest install and the safest position. B/c it's not a perfect world and not everyone can afford a new, "safe" vehicle. So we research car seats and how to best protect our children with what we have.

  6. #5
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Actually I wasn't implying used. I guess what I mean is when people buy NEW. Some cars are the same price like buying a Civic instead of a Neon. The crash test ratings don't even compare.

    I would rather buy a older vehicle with a better crash rating than a newer vehicle with a horrible crash rating. Yes, I do understand not everyone can afford a newer vehicle, but Newer does not always mean Safer! And older does not always mean unsafe.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic Lea_Ontario's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that all vehicles have to meet minimum standards - so unless there is a problem with the vehicle, as long as it is in good maintenance, it's not an inherently "UNSAFE" car.
    Mama to :
    Boo (2002), apramo backless booster
    Bug (2004), Parkway SGL
    Bear (2006), Parkway SGL

  8. #7
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Also, sometimes a "safer" new car is more expensive than a "less safe" new car. Or the "safer" vehicle doesn't have other things the buyer considers important. For example, a Toyota van might get better crash ratings than a Suburban, but if you're going to haul a trailer, or carry a lot of cargo, the Suburban might be a better fit for your family.

    Our newest car is a '96 Jeep Cherokee. All of our vehicles put together (we own 4 currently, not including dh's motorcycle), cost less than $7,000 to buy.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic Simplysomething's Avatar
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    Okay, as for the OP, I dunno why people still by unsafe cars. A lot of people by cars they cannot handle, thinking they are going to be safer, but I don't guess that's the same thing. (Like the people who drive SUV's, thinking, well in an accident, I'll do better because I'm in a bigger, taller car--and that person cannot handle the car... )

    And like Kashi points out, they aren't inherently unsafe.

    All my life, I've heard that Volvo's are extremely safe cars, and all my life I've coveted a volvo (except, well, my one SIL was going to GIVE me a volvo station wagon... It was, IIRC a '77, '78, manual transmission that had a habit of dying in the middle of intersections. I was about 17 and didn't have a license yet. She ended up junking it, iirc). Again, all my life, I've wanted a volvo, but I've heard that they are extremely expensive to repair. Do ya'll know if that is true?

    Now, if money weren't an issue, perhaps I'd have that danged Volvo. AND an odyssey (My kiddo's paternal grandparents have one. I covet it, but not for the safety, for the freakin comfort. lol Could live in that thing)

    (Are all crash tests done at like 30-35 mph?)
    apparently, people put stuff here.
    imagine:
    photos of my extremely adorable spawn.
    their stats and a
    witty quote.

    posted from my computer using the internet...
    Super SEEEEKRIT stuff here.

  10. #9
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    As far as I know the crashes done by the National Highway Institute are all done at about 30-35MPH. Yes Kashi I do see what you are saying BUT....for instance the Chevy Cavalier might as well be a coffin. Those cars are or were so unsafe there was a special report on them on TV. The Crash Institute said in some of their testings the crashes could even be fatal, whereas in the same crash setting in another car the occupant could walk away with minimal injury. I am not trying to pick on the Cavalier I am just making a point. There are definitely better cars and there are not so good of cars. All I am saying is if you have the money why not spend it on the safer car of the two (assuming they cost the same)?

    Do we buy Britax, because it is safer, or do we buy it because of other reasons. I'd like to think I spent more money on my Britax's for safety. That my children would fair better in an accident than another less expensive seat. Am I wrong saying that? Yes all carseats have the same government standards, but don't you think some carseats on the market would fair better in an accident? Just wondering?

    Just starting a new interesting thread. NOt trying to ruffle any feathers. Just interested in what you all think. Everyone on here seems pretty intelligent, so I just like to get your feedback.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy chaoticoctopus's Avatar
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    Ditto on choosing to buy according to our family's needs. We have a large family, and require at least an 8-seat vehicle. Our budget won't allow a high-priced 8-seater (believe me, we were checking out those '07 Suburbans!!! *drool*). When we were car-shopping three years ago, we were looking for a really good deal on whatever 8-seat van/minivan we could find. I had to have enough cargo room for luggage for a family of eight, plus a large dog, as we often drive on long trips to visit family. It had to be capable of hauling a motorcycle trailer. The Astro came along at a great price, fit our needs, fit our budget, and that was that.

    This time around, we *are* factoring safety ratings into our decision. But when we bought the Astro, we'd never been in an accident. Now we have, and suddenly that old "it'll never happen to *us*" sense of complacency has been replaced by a new awareness and concern.

  12. #11
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovinwaves
    Actually I wasn't implying used. I guess what I mean is when people buy NEW. Some cars are the same price like buying a Civic instead of a Neon. The crash test ratings don't even compare.
    Are they the same price (the Civic and Neon, I mean)? By the time I had all the fees paid and the small "extras" like paint protectant put on, my 2006 Civic cost around $24,000. I thought Neons were far cheaper than that.

    Some people have asked me why I bought a Civic when I could have bought a "safer" car. I think the Civic is pretty safe, though!! I am happy with its safety test ratings and safety features.

  13. #12
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot20171
    Some people have asked me why I bought a Civic when I could have bought a "safer" car. I think the Civic is pretty safe, though!! I am happy with its safety test ratings and safety features.
    Well, you tell them that Civic got Insurance Highway Institutes "BEST PICK" last year, and maybe even this year also ( I haven't checked this year yet). Wow that is a lot for a Civic. You could have a got a nice VW Passat for that money. But you made a very good decision!!! A Civic was my first car in '96. What an awesome car!!! Bigger doesn't always mean "Safer". The VW Bug got Insurance Highway Institutes "BEST PICK" also. It beat out bigger cars in its class for safety. I would rather buy a year old nice civic than a new Neon. I would rather live through a crash than die!!!
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovinwaves
    I would rather buy a year old nice civic than a new Neon.
    In many (I would even say most) cases it's not that easy.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  15. #14
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    I think a previous poster hit upon an excellent point, it sometimes takes an accident (or two or three or... in my family's case ) to make us more focused on safety ratings and crash test results. It factored heavily into our decision to get a Sienna after a crash in my Vue. It also plagues me daily as DH continues to drive a twice crashed '02 Saturn L100 sedan which turned out to have only so-so safety ratings when it was crash tested despite having side curtain airbags. At the time we bought it, very few sedans had side curtain airbags available even as an option, and we thought it was great it actually had them as standard equipment in the first place. Yet when the newer IIHS side crash tests were performed after we bought it, this model didn't do well at all. Ours performed well enough in two side impact collisions where nobody was injured. But the crash test scores and the fact it has been crashed and repaired twice weighs heavily on our minds.

    When we are in a position to replace DH's car, it will definitely be a model with side curtain airbags, better crash test scores, particularly for side impacts, and probably stability control as well. Plus lots of headroom to fit DH's tall torso or else his head will be jammed up against the ceiling, oy.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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  16. #15
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    When I was single(Prior to being married) I never had any problems picking out the safest car in its class. And now that I am married my husband and I ONLY PICK TOP SAFETY CARS. I don't see why it is that hard to pick a safe vehicle. Money doesn't always have something to do with it. Some of you have brought up good points about having large families, or needing to have a truck. All I am asking is why people don't pick the safest car on the market to fit their needs? Not everyone does that, but some people do.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy
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    AND why do some people continue to drive unsafely (fast and frequently)?!

    i consider every car trip to be a risk. i plan carefully now, and only drive when absolutely necessary, even avoiding known dangerous intersections etirely.

  18. #17
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    We live in a small town of about 5000. Since I am a stay at home I don't leave that much, but when I do I pretty much stay around town. I don't feel that unsafe. However, if I go into Kansas City if feel my blood pressure raise and I am more tense when I drive. I never use to be that way, but at 26yrs old it just kind of started. I know most accidents happen within miles of your own home, but for some reason I feel like if I am ever in an accident it will be in Kansas City. It just seems like there are more aggressive drivers, faster drivers, and stupid drivers. Well, of course there a lot of more drivers in kansas city than in our own town so there is more of a chance to have an accident.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  19. #18
    Carseat Crazy groovymom2000's Avatar
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    To whomever asked about the Volvo..

    yeah, they're still quite expensive to repair! (Don't ask me how I know...)
    The Groovymom, Mom to DS v1.0 in a seatbelt and DS v2.0, in the Monterrey

  20. #19
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    which is why we will likely never own one. Hondas are $$ to fix too. A lot of times a family has to choose a vehicle based on seating compacity and future repair bills, which leaves some "safer" cars out of the running. While a Civic may not be as expensive as some other vehicles, parts for them are pricey, but parts to repair a Cavalier are CHEAP, sometimes as little as 15% of the price of parts for a Honda.
    A car that is safe, but a person cannot afford to repair, isn't of much use to anyone.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  21. #20
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skaterbabscpst
    which is why we will likely never own one. Hondas are $$ to fix too. A lot of times a family has to choose a vehicle based on seating compacity and future repair bills, which leaves some "safer" cars out of the running. While a Civic may not be as expensive as some other vehicles, parts for them are pricey, but parts to repair a Cavalier are CHEAP, sometimes as little as 15% of the price of parts for a Honda.
    A car that is safe, but a person cannot afford to repair, isn't of much use to anyone.
    I couldn't disagree with you more. At least with Honda's your repairs would be virtually none. With a Cavalier you are almost guaranted repairs. The reason people buy Honda's is because of the low maintenance and unbelievable reliability. I have never ever ever ever had to fix one of my cars. Honda's, Toyota's, Lexus's, go FOREVER!!!! Plus my Ody has a warranty of up to 80,000 bumper to bumper. I would NEVER put myself let alone my child in a Cavalier (COFFIN)!
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

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