Volvo V40 Child rear seat crash test

Some of you may have read about an accident on the North-South Highway last week in which, sadly, a 20-month old toddler was flung out of a car and killed. It is understood that his mother, herself five months pregnant, was holding him on her lap when the incident happened.

We have stressed before on the paramount importance of using child seats in cars, but now, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), upon being contacted by Berita Harian, has echoed our long-held concerns and sentiments.

Many Malaysian parents are holding their children on their laps in cars, which is very dangerous, MIROS director-general Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon lamented to the Malay-language daily.

“(Translated) This approach is dangerous because in a collision, the child that is being held (on the parent’s lap) will experience an impact multiple times greater than the parent will. It is much safer to use Child Restraint Systems or child seats that are suited to the child’s age, and the child seats should be employed in the back seat where possible,” he said.

child car seat isaac

Referring to last week’s accident, he said children under two years of age must be secured in rear-facing child seats. This is to lower the chances of injury to the spine, bearing in mind the early stages of the child’s development. Children aged two to five may be secured in front-facing child seats, he told Berita Harian.

“Airbags can cause injury to babies and young children, if the child seats they are in are placed in an incorrect position,” Wong said, adding that the institute has found that only 9.7% of vehicle occupants in Malaysia, or nine in every 100, use rear seat belts.

Guys, please. Law or no law, fine or no fine, enforcement or no enforcement, you know what’s right to do. After all, you value your lives as well as those of your loved ones, don’t you?

Read our series of articles on vehicle safety here:

Malaysians need to start putting their children in child car seats when travelling in their cars
ESP Stability Control is a must – Malaysian motorists deserve better active safety in our cars
Look before you lock – don’t let another child fall victim to heatstroke in the car
Serious damage from heat stroke in just 15 minutes – do not leave your child unattended, locked in a car!
Embrace life – always wear your seat belt!
The rear seat belt conundrum