Up To Date Information On The Use & Fitting Of Baby Seats

Thursday, 1. June 2017

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

It’s been a while since I mentioned baby and child seats. As designs and rules have moved on since I last talked about them I thought it would be a good idea to bring things up to date. High street store suppliers now make sure that they send staff on IOSH courses to qualify them to discuss requirements with customers. Mothercare sends out mystery shoppers to assess the quality of advice given by staff.


Seat manufacturer Britax provide training for retailers to enable them to fit car seats properly. The most frequent problem is that parents move the child up to a larger seat too soon. This was a major finding by What Car in which 36% of children were found to be too small for the seat whilst a very small number were still in seats that were too small for them. What Car has listed 10 checks that you should carry out to protect your youngster as follows:


Is your child too small or large for the seat? If in doubt seek advice of an expert.


If the seat is secured by the car’s seatbelt make sure that it isn’t twisted and that it is fitted tightly enough around the child seat. It should be tight enough not to move if you push it.


When moving from wearing thick winter clothes to thinner summer clothes make sure you adjust the harness so that it isn’t too loose. Pinch the harness in front of the child’s collarbone and if you can pinch a lot of fabric between your fingers the belt is too loose.


If you’ve adjusted the seat’s headrest because your child has grown ensure the harness has been correctly routed back into place.


If using a travel system seat with a carry handle, don’t forget to put it back to the correct position after putting your child in the seat.


If using an Isofix seat, check that it is correctly clipped in. Indicators will change from red to green on the seat when fitted correctly.


If using a seat with a leg support check that the leg is fitted firmly to the car’s floor, that it’s at a 90 degree angle to the floor and that it’s not resting on an underfloor storage department unless this has been filled with a car manufacturer approved filler.


If using a seat with a top tether, ensure that it is routed over the back of the seat and clipped into the correct mounting point, not a luggage hook.


Don’t secure a high back booster with the car’s head rest: this needs to be moved out of the way so the child seat sits flush with the car seatback.


If you’re using a seat that is suitable for a wide age range, check it regularly for wear and tear; don’t just assume that it will stay safe for many years.

One final piece of research showed that babies should be kept as flat as possible as long as possible so avoid long journeys during which the baby is angled at 45 degrees. If it is necessary make frequent stops and lay them flat as often as possible.

By Graham Hill

How To Wear A Seatbelt Properly

Sunday, 6. April 2014

You know when someone mentions something you see them everywhere. For example someone will say ‘Haven’t seen many magpies about for a while and you agree, only to be confronted by acres of the damned things like a scene out of the Hitchcock thriller, The Birds. A couple of weeks ago it was pancakes, couldn’t move for them and as for Easter eggs I won’t even go there (Morrisons buy one get one free).

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But on a serious note I was reading about seat belts and the wearing thereof. In this enlightened age and probably down to the fact that I, along with all my passengers just click up every trip without even giving it a second thought, I believed that the non wearing of seatbelts was a thing of the past.

I even have to belt up my weekly shopping when I put it on the back seat rather than put up with the warning light flashing on the dashboard and the warning ding that gets progressively louder till it drowns out the stereo. But after reading about seatbelts I saw a ridiculous number of drivers unbelted. I couldn’t believe it.

Not only do seatbelts save lives you can also face a very nasty fine and points on your licence. Last year the fixed penalty increased from £60 to £100 along with 3 points on your licence. But what many don’t understand is that the maximum fine for not wearing a seatbelt is actually £500, it is up to the officer who stops you whether to give you a fixed penalty or send you to court so please don’t endanger your life or those of your passengers, make sure to belt up every trip especially if you think you won’t have an accident when popping round the corner to the shops, that’s when most accidents happen.

I have had two cars written off within 100 yards of where I lived at the time. Neither of which was my fault by the way. Oh and finally a bit of good advice from a doctor, when you fasten the seatbelt make sure the belt does NOT sit on your stomach. The belt should fit below the stomach and across the hips.

Illustration of a three-point seatbelt.

Illustration of a three-point seatbelt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make sure you check this next time you get into the car, there are normally adjusters in the door pillar mountings for drivers and front seat passengers to position the lap belt in the right place. By Graham Hill

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New Rear Seat Belts For Fords

Sunday, 25. September 2011

Ford has announced a new rear seat, seat belt. It has long been thought that rear passengers are not as well protected as front seat passengers with air bags going off in all directions in the event of an accident. So the clever chaps and chapesses at Ford have devised a cross between an air bag and a seat belt for rear seat passengers. It is an inflatable Read more

Non Wearing Of Seatbelts Set To Attract Points

Saturday, 30. October 2010

I have always been mystified why the non wearing of seatbelts doesn’t attract points on the driver’s licence. You will receive a fixed penalty fine of £60 but no points for what is considered to be a serious road traffic offense. The Scottish Parliament thinks likewise and has now written to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, pushing for a change in the law claiming that 19 road deaths could have been prevented in Scotland during 2009 if belts were worn. Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, Read more

New Cars Have The Latest Safety Features Fitted That Save Lives

Thursday, 24. September 2009

One of the huge benefits to buying or leasing a new car is that you will be driving a car with all the latest safety equipment fitted. Even the most modest cars have more equipment than they had fitted even just 3 years ago. The most significant for me is the wider fitting of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) also known as ESP. This system has been proven to save more lives than ABS but isn’t mandatory until Read more

Belt Up & Save A Life

Wednesday, 26. November 2008

You may have noticed the latest campaign to encourage motorists to use seat belts, 40 years after Jimmy Saville’s Clunk Click campaign. Whilst I find it amazing that people have to be reminded to do this every trip it’s worth mentioning that if all drivers and passengers belted up on every trip one life would be saved each day! By Graham Hill

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Safety System ESC/ESP To Be Fitted As Standard

Monday, 21. July 2008

As regular readers will know I am a great supporter of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and would like to see it fitted to all new cars as it is so much more important than ABS which is now fitted as standard on all cars sold in the UK. The European Commission proposed that by 2012 all new cars should have ESC fitted as standard. However the results of a recent EU wide survey showed Read more

How & Why Pregnant Women Should Wear Seatbelts

Wednesday, 25. June 2008

I can’t believe I’m writing this piece but I felt it should be included. It’s to do with pregnant women and the wearing of seat belts. Volvo, who is the only car manufacturer to have a pregnant test dummy (look – leave it – I’m just reporting it OK) called Linda, it’s true, the bloody dummy is called Linda – good grief. Anyway, Volvo, on a very serious point says ‘car safety for unborn children is rarely documented as foetal injury and deaths often do not show in statistics.’ As a result of extensive tests with Linda they have found Read more