Why maintaining your car is a crucial step in child travel safety

A few years back the German automobile club ADAC tested a Nuna Rebl and found that, at elevated speeds, it did not offer sufficient protection. Nuna responded quickly and introduced an updated model and my wife and her fellow mum friends started the process of having the original models swapped for new ones. 

One particular mother in that group was insistent that her Nuna be replaced immediately as it was a "death trap", something that her retailer managed to do for her. A few weeks later I was by chance asked to move her car and noted the new Nuna on the back seat. 

However I also noticed that her car, a six year old Audi A4, was overdue a service by 10,000 miles and was also wearing three different brands of tyres, all of which were budget brands, often referred to as ditchfinders. 

This stuck a chord with me and it remains something I reference to this day. It is no good having the best car seat in the world if you don't maintain your car to a sufficient standard.

In this particular case her car was well overdue a visit to the dealer and may therefore have had any number of items wrong with it, which might have included the brakes. And before you reference the MOT, remember that any item only has to pass the MOT on the day of the test. An item can become defective the very next day and, for the disinterested motorist, they won't know about it for another 364 days, or until their next MOT basically. 

Here's a car I spotted recently with two car seats in the back and a very bald set of front tyres. I wouldn't want to be doing an emergency stop in this is the wet.

BMW Bald Tyre

Similarly running mismatched tyres from budget brands is both dangerous and very much a false economy. The right thing to do is, at the very least, have matching tyres across each axle (so the same brand on the front or the back) but ideally the same brand on all four corners. Clearly not everyone can afford the very premium brands such as Goodyear, Michelin or Pirelli, but there are very good products available in the mid-market from brands such as Falken, Hankook or Toyo and they are rarely more than 10-15% more expensive than the cheapest (worst) brands. 

But don't take my word for it here's what DirectLine had to say about it.

Are Expensive Tyres Worth The Extra Money? | Direct Line

So, in summary, don't forget that the child seat can only keep your children safe if the car it is installed in is well maintained. After all it's far better to avoid an accident in the first place. 

Thanks and travel safe



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