Car accidents: How can we help?

I walk into the room to find my boys playing their new favorite game: “police cars and ambulances rescuing people in a car accident.” One child is the police car, another the ambulance and then the other two pretend to be the cars in the accident. It makes me wonder if they play this game because I am now teaching about car safety or because every time we leave our home we pass a car accident on the road.

On holidays, election day, and even Fridays, my family goes out together to explore our amazing country.  We travel north, south and even brave the traffic in the center of the country to enjoy the great beaches and incredible activities. Over the past two months every adventure has involved us passing a car accident on the road. Some accidents are small and I am able to easily explain to my children that unfortunately accidents happen and all we can do is work to prevent them. Other accidents we pass are serious and I find myself distracting my children from realizing the extent of what occurred right next to us.

Any one of us could be in an accident, on any day. There is a 7 percent chance that each person will be in an accident each year. That number is rising. From 2016 to 2017 there was a 5.7% increase in car accidents in Israel (not including Judea and Samaria).

Every day I listen to the radio and hear about another tragic death caused by a car accident. We cannot point blame and say exactly why these accidents happen. All we can do is be proactive and vigilant. We need to work together to improve our car safety because something needs to change. That change needs to happen NOW!!!

We must keep our family safe by taking precautions. Do not use your cell phone while driving. Do not touch the phone, text on the phone or even look at waze as it is distracting. Concentrate on driving, keep your eyes on the road at all times, and do not speed. Around one third of fatal crashes are caused by speeding. Please try not pass on one lane highways. The most deadly accidents are caused by head-on collisions at high speeds. If we take a few moments to focus while driving we can save lives.  

We can also work to protect ourselves and our children in case there is an uncontrollable accident. Buckle up every single time you enter the car. If you use your seat belt every time you drive it becomes automatic  Also, children who see their parents buckle their seat belts are statistically more likely to buckle their own.

Children belong in the proper restraints. Most children under the age of 11 need a booster to keep them safe. Children under the age of 5 must be in a car seat with a harness. It is best to keep children rear facing as long as possible until they reach the height and weight limit of their rear facing car seat. This is what will help keep your family safe and alive if G-d forbid you are in an accident.

There are many things in life we cannot control but there are some we can. Let us work together to protect ourselves and do the best we can, to cherish our lives.

If you have any questions or are interested in a consultation please contact Sara Friedman on Facebook as the Israeli Car Seat Momma or by email at sarafriedmancpst@gmail.com

About the Author
Sara Friedman made Aliya six years ago to Maale Adumim. As a mother of four and a social worker, she recognized the need to spread child passenger safety around Israel. She started a Facebook group and page called the Israeli Car Seat Momma, about car seat safety. She received a Child Passenger Safety Technician certification to promote car seat awareness. As a CPST she is now working to advocate and educate caregivers regarding car seat safety.
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