Mum’s post-crash photo of kids’ car seats: “They literally saved their lives”

Amy Butcher's crashed car

This heart-stopping image illustrates the importance of having quality car seats correctly installed. They truly do save little lives.

EDIT: I didn’t realise this would be shared so much. Now that it has been I’d like to say a huge thank you to those to…

Posted by Amy Butcher on Saturday, 9 December 2017

Five minutes from home

Mum Amy Butcher shared this pretty harrowing image on Facebook, on Sunday. She explained that through no fault of her own she was involved in a collision. One where things could have ended very differently.

“This is my car. I was driving home from the city yesterday afternoon in peak hour with the girls in the car. Five mins from home an unlicensed driver drove straight through a give way sign, without even slowing down, and smashed into us. The traffic was backed up so she couldn’t see my side of the road so she decided to essentially fly through blind instead of inching forward and checking.”

The consequences of the other driver’s actions were swift and serious. In fact, it’s a miracle nobody was seriously injured.

“The impact was hard enough that her license plate is in our wheel. We were pushed down the road, spun and then flipped. Literally the most terrifying moment of my life. I managed to get into the back and unbuckle Skye and get her out the front and some bystanders got Prim out. We’re all okay. We walked away! I have bruises and feel a bit bashed up but the girls don’t have a scratch on them!”

“One thing I could control is the car seats”

Amy stresses that every cautious factor was in her favour, yet an accident STILL occurred.

She’s counting her lucky stars, no doubt buying a lottery ticket AND warning other parents not to be complacent about car seats. You just never know when someone is going to come out of the blue and potentially change your own – or your kids’ –  lives forever.

“I was driving the speed limit, I didn’t have loud music on, the girls were almost asleep and not distracting me, I wasn’t looking at my phone… literally doing all the right things and yet you can’t control when your path is going to cross with a f*cking idiot! One thing I could control is the car seats!”

“Good quality car seats, installed correctly and buckled up correctly are vital! They literally saved their lives! They didn’t budge!”

“They didn’t budge”

Amy says the seats held her girls in place, even though her car ended up upside down. She was super relieved both kids were rear-facing, too.

“The girls weren’t hanging down, they were snug in their seats without a scratch on them! And thankfully we hadn’t turned Prim around yet – even at 16 months we had her still rear facing so she was really well protected!”

“It doesn’t matter how well you drive, natural selection can’t keep up with all the … idiots in the world, quality cars seats installed properly are a must!”

Protect your child

If you’re not sure whether your car seats are up-to-scratch or properly installed, this is a sobering reminder of what’s at stake. Get them checked and not only will you sleep easy, your child will be as safe as possible when you’re on the road, encountering the sort of “idiots” Amy did.

The good folk at your state’s automobile association can help you assess your seat and show you how to adjust your straps correctly:

RACV in Victoria
RACQ in Queensland
RACT in Tasmania
RAA in South Australia
NRMA in New South Wales

In the ACT, Kidsafe can help with proper car seat installation. Kidsafe are also on hand for parents in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

There are also authorised car seat fitting stations in many states. Again, they can check your seat and advise you on how to keep your child as safely-buckled as possible.

Letter of the law

It’s also important to be familiar with the recommendations for safely seating your child in the car, according to age. Read up on that here and potentially save a life, like Amy did.

National laws for restraining children in cars include:

  • Children up to the age of six months must be secured in an approved rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged from six months old but under four years old must be secured in either a rear or forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness
  • Children under four years old cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows
  • Children aged from four years old but under seven years old must be secured in a forward facing approved child restraint with an inbuilt harness or an approved booster seat

Thanks to Amy for sharing her story and alerting other parents to the dangers of being complacent when it comes to car seats. We’re so glad she and her girls are okay.

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