Produced by Gary Drevitch
SO, FREAKONOMICS GUYS, HOW'S THAT NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE COLUMN WORKING OUT SO FAR?
.... one question about car seats is rarely even asked: How well do they actually work?
.... Perhaps the single most compelling statistic about car seats in the NHTSA manual was this one: ''They are 54 percent effective in reducing deaths for children ages 1 to 4 in passenger cars.''
But 54 percent effective compared with what? The answer, it turns out, is this: Compared with a child's riding completely unrestrained. There is another mode of restraint, meanwhile, that doesn't cost $200 or require a four-day course to master: seat belts.
For children younger than roughly 24 months, seat belts plainly won't do. For them, a car seat represents the best practical way to ride securely, and it is certainly an improvement over the days of riding shotgun on mom's lap. But what about older children? Is it possible that seat belts might afford them the same protection as car seats?
.... no matter what you control for in the ... data, the results don't change. In recent crashes and old ones, in big vehicles and small, in one-car crashes and multiple-vehicle crashes, there is no evidence that car seats do a better job than seat belts in saving the lives of children older than 2.
And now, counterpoint. From the Associated Press, July 28, 2005:
GARY, Ind. - Rescuers searched a river Thursday for a 2-year-old girl who flew out the window of her mother's SUV and plunged 40 feet into the water after her mother lost control of the vehicle ....
The crash came as family members returned to Gary from a birthday party in Chicago .... Jatama flew out the window ....
People in the SUV said the girl was wearing a seat belt, but investigators found no child seats in the vehicle, state police Lt. D.R. Tackett said.
Rescuers searched the waterway for more than two hours Wednesday night under helicopter searchlights and returned after daybreak Thursday.
YOU KNOW THAT JOKE YOU TELL EACH OTHER EVERY TIME YOU TAKE A
PICTURE OF THE KIDS IN THE BATHTUB? "OH, HONEY, WE'D BETTER NOT BRING
THIS FILM TO THE PHOTO SHOP!" WELL, YOU'D BETTER NOT.
After six months - six months! - in prison, a North Carolina man who tried to develop a photo of himself kissing his newborn on the belly
has been released and reunited with his kids. His wife, arrested for
taking "sexually explicit pictures," was released much earlier but
until now had been kept from having any contact with her children.
The couple "said they are happy to be reunited with their children
and to leave their legal troubles behind them," which, except for their
forgetting to mention their pending lawsuits against anyone within a
three-state area of this case, is exactly what we would have said.
ANYONE OUT THERE ASPIRING TO BE "THE COOL MOM" IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, WE HOPE THIS ISN'T WHAT YOU HAD IN MIND
GOLDEN, Colo. - A woman who told police she wanted to be a “cool mom” pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges Monday for having sex with high school boys at parties where authorities said she supplied drugs [methamphetamines] and alcohol.
July 29, 2005 | Permalink |
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