Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Another reason why people buy SUVs

As the father of a five-and-a-half month old, I have become aware of something that I had only a dim consciousness of before. This is the child safety seat. U.S. law requires that children sit in special seats until . . . well, basically until they're old enough to drive themselves. Our son just grew out of his tiny infant seat so we bought one that will last until he weighs 65 pounds (in my family one generally reaches this landmark around age 11).

So, what's my point? We're having a heck of a time fitting this super-sized child seat into our 2001 Honda Civic, a foor door sedan. Although the name "Honda Civic" conjures up an image of a tiny econobox, anyone who has tried to park this car on a San Francisco street will tell you that it is not a small car. Nonetheless, the seat doesn't fit behind the driver's seat if I have pushed it back far enough to accommodate my legs. Of course, this is fine with me because I don't like to drive anyway. We're not getting a bigger car -- my wife can drive. But I'm only 5'6"! What I'm getting at here is this: some SUV buyers may not be thinking, "Oh, I want an SUV because I hate nature and I want to pave the planet." Rather, the impetus to buy an SUV may be a simple car seat.

Here's another possible source of conservation from an unlikely place: if someone can design a quality child car seat (not just for infants but toddlers, too) that fits into a compact or mid-sized sedan, it could deter some SUV purchases.

Technorati tags: , , , environment, conservation


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Ben Kraal said...

Is there a pic of the seat? I don't see it. No matter -- you aren't the only person to have this problem :)

My Peugeot is larger than your Civic sedan. Ford Contour sized but smaller than a Taurus. Anyway, with my son's seat installed behind the passenger seat (thus on the kerb-side) in the "newborn" rear-facing position, we had to slide the passenger seat forward. Now he's about 18lbs he can sit in a forward facing position -- the passenger seat is back where is should be.

There is no way that the seat would fit in the rear-facing position while still allowing a front seat passenger in a small(er) car.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger John Markos O'Neill said...

Here's a picture of the seat with my son in it, before we installed it. I'll get one of the seat in the car soon.

We ended up putting the rear facing seat in the middle of the back seat -- they say that's the safest place anyway. However, when we have two kids, we won't be able to do that!


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