Sunroofs & You: How to ensure Safety!
Friends & Parents!
After a very long time I am back to writing about yet another important aspect of safe driving and ensuring your kids too are safe. Today's luxury cars / SUVs come with sunroofs fixed in them and most of them are anti-pinch as well so that even by chance, they don't hurt anyone. However, all does not end here. Kids are precious and playful and the lives of parents revolves around them. As parents, the only thing they want is to see the priceless smile on their child's face by fulfilling small desires of their kid. But, at the same time, it is parent's duty to ensure that small kids be told about the hazards of popping their heads out of the sunroof. Now, many of you may get an idea of what I am talking of. Yes! the recent unfortunate accidents involving the two kids in Delhi because of Manjha (kite string).
Though it was a sad accident but also a learning experience for others. Parents often succumb to the demands of their kids (even though no matter how illogical) and unintentionally one such moment led to the horrible accident. India being a land of festivities, and we as Indians, need a small opportunity to celebrate. On the eve of independence day, 2 families lost their entire world of happiness unfortunately. So, coming back, after reading about these accidents, It took me lot of time to actually gather the courage and put my thoughts in most appropriate language. It would be foolish on my part to say, cars in India should come without sunroofs
. So, as parents it is to be ensured that whenever you are traveling with your family, never let your kid(s) sit in the front seat. Secondly, at all times, the kid should be buckled up so that he / she can't fiddle with the switches. Mind You, today's kids are more tech savvy than the parents. Our generation i.e those born in early and late 80's and earlier, have grown up with toys and calcium tablets but today's kids, as soon as they reach 3-4 years they are given ipads and phones/tablets to play which develops in them a pre-mature knowledge of using technology but without knowing hazards. So, to make them understand, as parents, one should believe in "right thing at the right time, in the right way and at right age"
Parents never should oblige to the kid's request of opening the sunroof and making them play around and enjoy the Aerial view by making them stand on the seat with their heads popping out. I have seen even teenage girls doing this stuff and even howling away through the traffic and the driver taking pride in supporting the stupidity. A moment of joy can ruin the entire life of not just one but many together. If the parents want their kids to be safe then they should teach the kids in very simple actions/words about the right way of traveling in the car. In foreign countries kids are brought up with such guidelines by parents and same can be stressed upon here. We try and ape many habits of the foreign land but sadly don't ape them correctly and incorrect or half knowledge is equally dangerous so if the kids are trying to ape what they see in TV shows, movies et al which also includes habits like enjoying with two-hoots by opening the sunroof et al, they should be Stopped!
and its the duty of the parent to do so.
Driving in India as it is has it's own hazards so best is to keep your child and yourself protected at all times. A firm NO may make the kids a bit sad but once you tell them the reason, they'll surely understand and grasp it because children grasp quickly what they see and hear. I do know, it might sound repetitive but even after being knowledgeable and enlightened, we commit mistakes. So, as a humble, common car driver and owner I feel below mentioned points might come in handy!
1) Never travel with kid(s) seated on front seat.
2) Ensure kids are buckled up properly.
3) Keep the sunroof closed as often as possible. At max remove the manual cover beneath the sunroof to get the view/light
4) Keep the kids indulged in talks so that he/she doesn't fiddle around.
5) Teach them about the safety of passenger in car through simple pictures. Do Not show them any scary or accident pics Please!
6) Never shout on them as it would make them restless and they may not listen to your advise.
7) Never be over-confident as even after all precautions and best intentions, mishaps occur.
8) For teenagers, if you have girlfriend or boyfriend who tries to impress you or grab unwanted attention through such stupid acts, please request them to stop immediately or inform them of "Break Up".
9) Never over-speed as most often, girls/boys/kids get the itch to pop their heads out at insane speeds. Moreover they shout too after popping out!
10) Learn the right use of a technology and use it wisely!