A mother has shared a decision she made that saved her family from tragedy when her car was hit by a speeding vehicle in a freak accident.
Hayley said she was driving with her one-year-old son several weeks ago to do a quick errand five minutes from her home in Melbourne's south east, when they were hit from behind.
“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the mother wrote on Facebook.
She explained that a car travelling at a “ridiculous speed” of more than 160km/h smashed into them.
“Ran straight up the back of us and slingshot our car into the drain,” she wrote.
The collision was so intense the other car lost its engine, while Hayley’s headrest catapulted out of the rear window. The back section of her seat snapped off and careered into the rear passenger seat.
Luckily both mum and little Miles escaped with minor injuries.
“My son and I walked away from this terrifying crash a little battered and bruised, but nevertheless we were able to walk away,” Hayley wrote.
Miles, who was in a rearward facing carseat in the rear passenger side, escaped with just two small bruises on his neck underneath the harness strap padding, according to Kidspot.
Hayley explained that her son was a fast grower. At just 12-months-old he was already wearing clothes for a three-year-old and at 10-months-old he had outgrown the height markers on his rear-facing child car restraint.
It was then Hayley and her husband had to make a choice when it came to a car seat for Miles. They both decided it would be safest to purchase a child car restraint with extended rear-facing capabilities, allowing Miles to continue to travel in the rear-facing position.
It was that decision that saved more injuries and quite possibly the toddler’s life.
“...the police officer ‘took her hat off to me’ for still having my 1-year-old REARWARD FACING! He only had two little bruises from the harness in all this carnage.
“If he was facing forwards, the police officer said this would of been a whole different conversation we would of been having and his injuries would of been horrendous instead of minor,” she explained.
The relieved mother said she shared the post in the hope that other parents would think twice before changing their child’s car seat to a forward facing option.
“Please, please, please keep your babies safe! Keep them rearward facing as long as possible! You just never know when the unexpected can happen,” she wrote.
Kidsafe Victoria recommends keeping children in their rear-facing child car restraint until they reach the maximum size limit, rather than graduating them to forward facing just because they turn a certain age.
Rear facing child car restraints provide the required head and neck support that a child needs in the result of a crash.
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