'A child without a car seat doesn't stand a chance in a crash'

We've probably all witnessed children running around unsupervised near a road or a kid sitting on a parent's lap in a moving car.

Advocate for children’s road safety and founder of Wheel Wells, Peggie Mars says these are the factors that contribute to South Africa's shocking road death statistics.

Read: Situation on South Africa's roads is 'insane', says trauma surgeon

She tells Azania Mosaka that 30% of road fatalities are children, according to road safety agency, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

That figure includes pedestrian and passenger deaths.

A child can die at an impact at as low as at 30 kilometres an hour... That is suburban driving and you slam on the brakes.

Peggie Mars, Founder - Wheel Wells

A child in a car seat stands a chance in a crash, a child without a car seat doesn't.

Peggie Mars, Founder - Wheel Wells

And what about those children at the age where they are too big for a car seat but not big enough to wear a seat belt? Mars recommends booster seats until children are 1.5 metres tall.

Referring to the high incidence of young pedestrian deaths, Mars emphasizes that adults are responsible for all aspects of the safety of children under the age of ten.

Children at birth don't have a perception of risk, so they don't know what is dangerous - it needs to be taught to them.

Peggie Mars, Founder - Wheel Wells

Round about 12/14 it starts kicking in, but then in adolescence it all goes haywire again.

Peggie Mars, Founder - Wheel Wells

Since the start of the non-profit organisation's Car Seats for Kids Campaign in 2012, 9 000 have been handed out.

For more information, or to donate a car seat, go to https://www.wheelwell.org.za/

Mars also discusses what the law stipulates about the use of car seats and seat belts.

Listen to the complete conversation here:


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