Son makes me a bet­ter driver

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

DRIV­ING home from the hospi­tal with my new son was one of the most im­por­tant events of my motoring life. Ev­ery­thing changed with Eli strapped in the back seat. I was more aware of dan­gers and I could feel his pres­ence. A week later I still do, and friends tell me it does not change.

It was a big sur­prise be­cause I have driven thou­sands of pas­sen­gers over the years and, apart from try­ing not to look a fool in front of peo­ple such as Peter Brock, I have never thought much about the other peo­ple in the car with me.

Now I find my­self think­ing about car seats and road de­sign and all sorts of safety stuff.

I’m al­ready an­gry be­cause the best car seats in the world, de­signed to the global ISO-FIX stan­dard, are not avail­able in Aus­tralia.

Most new cars have ISO-FIX an­chor­age points, which make it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to fit a seat in­cor­rectly, yet we are still wait­ing for this stan­dard to be rat­i­fied. Why?

I’m also think­ing about sun pro­tec­tion, the cor­rect side to fit a cap­sule, how long I should drive be­tween breaks, and so much more.

I’m also think­ing about songs to sing when he gets older, putting ‘‘spotto’’ back on the list of favourite games and other ways to avoid the po­ten­tial dis­con­nec­tion of too much DVD and iPod iso­la­tion on fu­ture trips.

Eli has done a great job for me and I’m sure he will make me a bet­ter, more con­sid­er­ate driver. I have to thank him and his mother, Ali.

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