Why gas-guzzling cars? Why is our transportation dominated by four
wheels powered by a gasoline-snorting engine?
People have been using wheels for nearly 6,000 years. The invention
of the wheel probably occurred many times in many places and no
event of inception was recorded. At first wheels were powered by the
people who made them. Hitching animals to move carts started around
4,000 years ago.
In October 2005, an Angelina County, Texas, court held a woman accountable in an automobile
crash that resulted in the death of her 1-month-old son who was not properly restrained in the
vehicle. The woman forgot the child’s car seat and let a friend hold the child in her lap while a
14-year-old, unlicensed, uninsured driver drove the vehicle. The car slammed into an oncoming
pickup truck and rolled over, killing the boy. The woman pleaded guilty to negligent homicide
charges and was sentenced to a deferred three-year prison sentence and is required to attend...
The original function of seatbelts was to re-
strain only adult-size occupants, and some belt-
assembly design parameters are in conflict with
those that would best secure CRs. These param-
eters include belt anchor location, buckle size, and
type of retractor and latchplate. These and other
issues regarding child restraint compatibility with
vehicle belts and seats are addressed in an SAE
Recommended Practice (SAE J1819, 1994).
Unfortunately, however, not all products comply
with this voluntary standard, nor have all prob-
lems been solved.
However, in State v. Jones, 151 S.W.3d 494 (Tenn. 2004), the court ruled that a passenger’s
conduct in holding her 2-year-old child in her lap was not a gross deviation from ordinary care
under the facts of this case. The court reasoned that adult drivers routinely fail to safely restrain
child passengers. The court cited a recent survey finding that only 60 percent of child passengers
were restrained and that State law “permitted a mother to remove her child from its car seat to
nurse the child or to ‘attend to its other physiological needs.’”