You may not have left yet, or you might be on your way back in the coming days or weeks, either way it is important to remember road safety all the time along with ensuring your kids are strapped in correctly.
After surviving a devastating car crash, Max Gardener and his wife Chantel are sharing their story to raise awareness of the importance of children’s car seats supported by Queensland Police Service and Kidsafe.
On January 29, 2018, Queensland Police Officer Max Gardener alongside his wife and three children departed Newcastle by car and were heading home to Brisbane, after visiting family over the holiday season.
Almost three hours into their drive, their car left the road and rolled four times before coming to a stop on the side of the highway. There were no indicating factors that attributed to the crash.
While Max and his wife Chantel sustained extensive injuries, their children, who were aged seven, five and just shy of two-years old at the time, were completely unharmed due to their properly fitted restraints.
“If it wasn’t for the car seats, I don’t know what would have happened. I don’t think we would have been able to recover like we have if they would have been injured or worse,” said Chantel.
“I know (car seats) are a pain, but we need to make choices as parents and make sure we make the right choices to keep our children safe.”
Kidsafe Queensland CEO Susan Teerds said being correctly fitted in a car seat could mean the difference between life and death.
“Motor vehicle accidents are the second cause of all hospital admissions for children 14 years and under, so it is so important kids stay in a child car restraint with a built-in harness or a booster seat as long as they still fit. Don’t be in a hurry to let your child sit on the adult seat,” she said.
Having already surpassed last year’s road toll and now approaching the most lives lost on Queensland roads in over 10 years, Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Stream said Max’s story is a powerful reminder of the need to stay vigilant, both as a driver and as a caregiver to children.
“This road safety message is incredibly important, with the number of lives lost on Queensland roads in the past 12 months predicted to reach 300,” Acting Chief Superintendent Stream said.
“With many Queenslanders preparing long journeys to visit loved ones over this holiday period, it is imperative we do all we can to ensure we all makes it to our destinations safely.”