Updated: Aug 16, 2019
In tandem with ibu’s recent event on car seat safety in collaboration with Britax, we interviewed Mr Yahaya, a vehicle safety intervention expert who’s been working in the industry since his first job as an airbag designer and vehicle safety integration officer.
We wanted to know his process to choosing the right car seat and asked his advice on some tricky car seat issues.
How did you end up in this line of work?
I got involved in vehicle safety since my first job as airbag designer and vehicle safety integrator. In order to further explore vehicle safety I left my job of 6 years, to work at MIROS and dedicate my life in vehicle safety intervention work so that everyone will be safe on the road.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Saving the lives of loved ones is always my motivation. My father passed away from a road accident and I suffered. I don’t want others to suffer the same pain that I did when I know road accidents can be avoided.
What’s your checklist for choosing an appropriate car seat?
The first thing I’ll do is to check my car to understand the available equipment in the car related to the car seat Installation. Does it have:
An ISOFIX bracket and Top Tether
A 3 point seat belt
A seat designed to hold a car seat
A passenger airbag on/off switch
Second, you must choose a seat based on your child’s body size, height and weight.
Finally, choose your car seat with the following considerations:
It must meet the latest regulation requirements (UN R44/ UN R129)
It must be comfortable for my child and fit their body size
Is there really much difference between a RM1000 car seat vs a RM200 car seat?
The price is dependent on the brand and the features of the car seat. It doesn’t matter how much the seat costs, the most important thing is that it meets basic safety regulation requirements.
Would you advise getting a car seat second hand? If not, why not?
The best practice is to get a new car seat. However, if you’re getting a second hand one, you need to understand the history of the seat with the following considerations. Make sure:
The seat wasn't involved in any car accidents
It suits your car and children’s size
There’s no crack on the plastic material, where it acts as the main structure of the seat.
A lot of our local readers have trouble convincing their parents to use a car seat with their kids, what would you say to convince them to put their grandchildren in a car seat every time they drive?
This is a difficult one because of the mindset; the best thing is to show them video content so that they see what happens during a car crash. Usually a video speaks thousand words and will convince them more easily.
What advice would you give to a stay at home parent (with no car) who wants to travel by grab or other taxis?
It’s the best if they can carry their own car seat (one that attaches to a pram) or call a taxi/grab that can offer a car seat service. If there’s demand from the public, eventually they’ll offer this service.
If you could only give 1 piece of advice about car safety, what would it be and why?
Always try to remember that no matter how good you are as a driver, humans always make mistakes. If not us, then another driver will make a mistake. If you can afford it, buy a car that offers the best safety protection and safety features and practice safe driving because your life is very valuable.
We’re really grateful to Mr Yahaya for answering our questions about car seat safety, but now we want to hear from you. What stood out for you? What will you do differently now that you know how to choose the right car seat? Head over to ibu’s Tribe on Facebook to tell us.