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The bells and whistles that your car should have to ensure your child’s safety.

Holden
Thanks to our brand partner, Holden

The first time I was searching for a car to buy it was pre-kids. Remember those days?

The highest priority in my car-choosing criteria was the colour.

Sure I would have loved something sporty (preferably with a retractable roof ) but my budget allowed me just the one indulgence and I was not budging from that – it had to be red.

Fast forward 20 years and I couldn’t give a hoot about the colour of the car – in fact it could be pink with purple polka dots as far as I was concerned (and wouldn’t my four-year-old daughter love that). But the one and only thing I am concerned about is safety. (Oh and if it came with Apple CarPlay I wouldn’t be complaining… come on a girl can dream can’t she?)

It seems that my overwhelming focus on the safety of a car is something I have in common with most parents. In fact, research by Holden and Mamamia Women’s Network reveals just how important we parents think safety is.

An overwhelming majority of mothers – 89 per cent – expressed concerns over their children’s safety inside car parks. For women with more than two children this figure was even higher – 93 per cent of mothers were worried about car park safety.

"The one and only thing I am concerned about is safety." Image via iStock.

As safety becomes more of a driving concern for women buying cars when they become parents, it’s important to get an understanding of what the significant safety features are on offer.

Holden and MWN also found that many features, including Electronic Stability Program/Control (ESP) and rear cross traffic alerts are relatively unknown to parents with only 22 per cent of parents knowing what they were. It seems a lack of knowledge is hindering our ability to understand how to make our cars safer.

While 78 per cent of mums with two children are worried when dropping and picking them up from school only 13 per cent rate reverse parking sensors as in the top two most important safety features they look for in a car and only 19 per cent put reverse cameras in their top two safety requirements.

For cars such as the Holden Capitiva these safety features come as standard.

So let’s work out what is what, and what is necessary.

ISOFIX

ISOFIX is an international standard system that allows you to fit a car seat directly into a vehicle without using a seat belt. Each Holden Captiva comes standards with ISOFIX child seat anchorages meaning that ISOFIX-equipped child seats are easy to install and remove every time.
The simplicity of ISOFIX means that car seats are installed correctly and hence safely. Research has also shown that they are more rigid with less lateral movement compared to the older seatbelt-fitted design.

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how to ensure the safety of your child in your car

ISOFIX is an international standard system that allows you to fit a car seat directly into a vehicle without using a seat belt. Image supplied.

Electronic stability control

ESC (also known as ESP – Electronic Stability Program) helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles. ESC compares the vehicle's movements with the steering wheel angle to determine if the vehicle is moving in the direction you intend. If it senses you are going to skid, ESC applies brake pressure to individual wheels as appropriate, and, if necessary, trims engine power, to maintain your desired direction of travel.

Rear view camera

A reversing camera or a rear view camera, gives parents that extra edge in child safety. Especially when it comes to driveways, school pick-ups and car parks.

how to ensure your child's safety in your car

93 per cent of mums with two children are worried about reversing drivers in car parks. Image supplied.

Blind spot alert

Holden and MWN found that only 12 per cent of parents rated blind spot alert as in their top two safety features in a car, but in fact the blind spot alert can be a major player in determining your car’s safety.
Sensors – often radars like in the Holden Captiva – are mounted to either side of the car and constantly monitor its blind spots for approaching traffic. When an encroaching vehicle is detected, a warning light appears on the corresponding side mirror, providing a visual warning that an object may be in your blind spot.

When an encroaching vehicle is detected, a warning light appears on the corresponding side mirror. Image supplied.

Rear cross traffic alert

This safety features allows your car, when reversing, to intuitively scan cross traffic and warn the driver of an approaching motor vehicle hazard before you even see it. This is particularly important when manoeuvring through a busy car park or pulling out of a tight spot, when your vision is otherwise restricted.

Air bags

This safety feature is something we are all familiar with, in fact Holden and MWN research found that two in five mums rate side and curtain airbags as the most important safety car feature. It’s essential that the car you choose is fitted with front, side and curtain airbags.

As parents we can only do the utmost we can to ensure our children’s safety and if we can go into a car purchase armed with the knowledge of what safety features are important then we are one step closer to achieving that goal.

What car safety features do you prioritise?

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