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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

My wife and I have been going back and worth on whether or not the El Camino can be considered "safe" transport for our baby girl due this October. I know "safe" is a relative term but im looking for some insight if anyone has thought about this. here's the gist of the topic:

A middle rear seat is preferred since it locates the baby away from the sides of the vehicle in the event of the crash.

the only good side of baby being in the front is not having to worry about an airbag.

biggest problem, since newer cars have crumple zones for a reason...to absorb shock. The el camino is much heavier steel and wasn't designed for crumple---then surely it is deemed "unsafe" in the event of an accident due to the force of the shock being transferred to the people inside

does anyone have any logical thoughts that state otherwise or have any statistics that merit it not a concern?

thanks for your help.
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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As a granpa I know the best seats face the baby to the rear and are well padded. You need to devise a way to secure whatever seat you have.
This is a great question. I am going to go google some data on this.

There sre a gazillion different types of restraints for sale at Amazon and other places.
 

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Good question. I think it boils down to what you are comfortable with. Ask 'which is safer? An attentive careful elky owner, alert, not on a cell phone or multitasking with movies and happy meals, or a combo of the above in a safetymobile? I'm comfortable hauling my five year old mine. remember the safest accident is the one you avoid. Patrick.
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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I agree. In the final analysis the safety comes from prep and defensive driving skills. No booze at all prior to driving!!
 

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No matter how safe you are there's always some idiot, drunk, mutitasker....whatever not being careful.
The question here is why an el camino? Is this a second car that will be used for shows and cruise nights that you'd like to take the baby to? Or is it to be your only car and used everyday?
For an occassional cruise I'd say if it was me I probably would have taken my son. If it's everyday well then I'd say no. Find a safer second car. Now before everyone chimes in saying their elky is built like a tank compared to today's car, I agree. But there are no passive restraints. As adults we can brace for impact and hopefully not shatter our wrists or ankles, knees, etc. As an infant they have no idea what's happening and they will be bounced around in their car seat. Wouldn't take much to snap their necks.
 

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I am a father to be as well in October to a baby boy. And I have every intention of bringing him in my el camino... People have driven their children in el camino's for 50 years, if there is really that much of a concern you can install the brackets for the new mounting for the car seats. They aren't hard to install, I did it at a dealer all the time years ago
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yea, I hear ya on the "people have been driving el caminos with their kids for over 50 years"

but my wife's point/question has to do with the energy of the impact not being absorbed by the car like today's crumple cars. that's the issue and I don't really have much a response to it
 

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The question here is why an el camino? Is this a second car that will be used for shows and cruise nights that you'd like to take the baby to? Or is it to be your only car and used everyday?

For an occassional cruise I'd say if it was me I probably would have taken my son. If it's everyday well then I'd say no. Find a safer second car.

This is the most sensible advice. There is no doubt that the El Camino is not as safe as a modern car ... you just have to decide how much risk you are willing to take.

I own a 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite and there is probably no car on the road that is less safe ... yet I take our minor children for a ride in it on occasion.

About two years ago my daughter and I were rear-ended while driving on a road that we frequently drive the Healey on. Fortunately for us we were in our 2005 Odyssey at the time and no one was seriously injured. But ... had we been in the Healey, the first thing the bumper of the 4x4 that rear-ended us would have hit would have been the back of our heads. That will give you a glimpse of your own mortality.

I still drive the Healey, and I still take my children for rides in it, but I am aware of the risks I am taking and I hope I am prepared for the consequences of my decisions.


Copper
 

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yea, I hear ya on the "people have been driving el caminos with their kids for over 50 years"

but my wife's point/question has to do with the energy of the impact not being absorbed by the car like today's crumple cars. that's the issue and I don't really have much a response to it
Personally I would just think she was being very over cautious, which is normal. I know mine has been getting more and more like that in the last couple weeks and is probably going to get worse the closer to the due date she gets..... When's the due date? Mines October 26th
 

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Ministry of Broke Things
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I wouldn't on a daily basis, if that is what you're asking. But, for the occasional cruise, yes, absolutely...you should. Are they safer than modern cars? No, for many reasons, but that doesn't mean you can't go out for a cruise with the family on the weekend.

 

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Poor little guy aint even born yet and yer calling him a Brat?:poke:

I would think just cinch down the seat with the middle seat belt, possibly install an anchor behind the seat also.
 

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Hey Guys,
My wife and I have been going back and forth on whether or not the El Camino can be considered "safe" transport for our baby girl due this October. I know "safe" is a relative term but I’m looking for some insight if anyone has thought about this. Here’s the gist of the topic:
A middle rear seat is preferred since it locates the baby away from the sides of the vehicle in the event of the crash.
The only good side of baby being in the front is not having to worry about an airbag.
biggest problem, since newer cars have crumple zones for a reason...to absorb shock. The el camino is much heavier steel and wasn't designed for crumple---then surely it is deemed "unsafe" in the event of an accident due to the force of the shock being transferred to the people inside
does anyone have any logical thoughts that state otherwise or have any statistics that merit it not a concern?
thanks for your help.
sagacious, I can speak to your question with some degree of expertise. Some of you know of my background as a Regional Director for the National Transportation Safety Board. However, I like most mid-level Government managers, started at the lower rungs of the ladder and worked my way upwards. In 1985-86, I was the Dynamics specialist, and who analyzed the crash forces, both direction and magnitude, in the NTSB's 1986 Safety Study of Occupants' Restraints. That Safety Study was the impetus for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate the outboard 3-point restraints for the rear positions in all passenger cars manufactured or sold in the U.S. market in the late 80s, and eventually led to the outboard and center position 3-point restraints in all cars and light trucks.

Now to the question. There is nothing inherently unsafe about the occupant compartment of an El Camino. While it is true that they do not have the state of the art "Crumple Zone" incorporated in modern cars, they did have the best that was offered in the late 60s. And in a frontal collision, defined as plus or minus 30 degrees from dead straight head-on, they were designed to the standards of a 30 mile per crash. And they did a good job for their design. Modern cars are designed to provide occupant protection in speeds up to 35 mph – and they have an added test now, the off-set collision that tests the automobile with a collision into the frontal area of the drivers’ position – head-on. In summary of this collision type, I could go through an extensive study of why cars crush and perform as they do, but I believe I can reliably say that modern cars are indeed safer that cars manufactured in the late 60s, but by approximately 5 mph or so if all the facts are boiled down to a simple analysis.

Side collisions are a different animal. Modern automobiles are indeed safer than the late 60s models, and the primary reason is the addition of a “Safety Beam” that has been added to the area of the upper third of the door structure. The result is that a striking vehicle, or a tree or pole, cannot penetrate the occupants’ zone within the car. And, while that stiffness itself can contribute to greater forces acting upon the occupants’ head and body, keeping the passenger compartment intrusion area to a minimum seems to be a much better tradeoff. Additionally, air bag technology has made great advances in the past 40 years. They are now provided for head protection in most all seating positions.

My advice: Place the infant in a rear-facing safety seat that has been approved by the NHTSA, and keep the infant in the middle seating position of either the front or back seat of a 60s automobile. Study the installation instructions thoroughly! Be very certain that the seat is properly installed, and that both the belt and any additional tether straps are properly tightened. You can be assured that you’ve done all you can possibly do for the safety of your infant, and that you are driving an automobile that is not that much more unsafe, for your infant restrained as described above, than in a modern automobile. In the center position, the absence of the door I-beam should not be a factor unless you were hit at speeds above probably 35 to 40 mph impact that missed the A-pillar (the stiffest area of an automobile on the side). The A-pillar is where the door hinges are located on an El Camino. Thanks for listening, and for your interest in transportation safety……………….Ken
 

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Babies in Front Seats

I meant to also say that most automobiles today have what are called "Smart Air Bags". These Smart bags can tell if the seat is occupied, tell about how much the passenger weighs, and can adjust the force of the airbag so that it does not overpower the occupant and cause injury. Before placing any child or infant in a front passenger seat position, please check with the manufacturer to determine if it is, indeed, equipped with "Smart" air bags. If not, please follow the manufacturer's recommendation on the proper size of passenger side occupants. I know from experience that air bags CAN cause injury to small people, little people, and babies, yet smart people continue to place their small children in the path of the air bag........................Ken :dontknow:
 

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Ken
My personal favorite thing is looking over at the car next to me at a red light and seeing a toddler standing up on the front passenger floor looking over the dash!! Then there's always the 300lb woman holding a baby on her lap in the front seat!
 

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Thanks for the info Ken
 

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Dont listen to that bureaucrat. That thing is a death trap!! P.m me to what part of T.x. your located in and Ill be glad to come pick it up. Does it have a 396? If it does, thats even more dangerous that a small block. If you need me to, I would be willing to come get it this weekend, just for the sake of your familys safety.:nanawrench:
 
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