Oops - body didn't post.
Anyway, what is everyone doing for child restraints for their wee ones? My parents took me out all the time in our '15 T, didn't think twice about it. With our new addition though, we now don't know what the right age or time is to take him out for the first ride in his future car.
I have seen many makeshift things, the overriding thing came down to two constants. ! what will your state allow (with mama's blessings of course) and whatever Rube Goldberg device you use to anchor a child (seat and child) to a "T" ensure the child's head is well below the seat back (in case of roll-over) Be safe out there that is precious cargo
In the 80's we put footman loops under the seat cushion and a long belt held the kids in. Now we use modern seat belts and secure them to the wood under structure. For our Touring I made a half seat cushion for the back seat for my wife and the child seat can sit lower. Probably not to FMVSS regulations but does keep the kids from crawling or falling out. Do be careful with children.
Back when I was a kid riding in the fabulous fin cars, there were no shoulder belts, of course and just to make absolutely certain each occupant would be seriously injured in all but the most minor of fenderbenders, the dashboards were cast of solid steel and festooned with jutting handles, levers and other assorted weaponry. _American cars were BUILT back then and even the headlight dimmer switch on the floor resembled a military surplus firing button from a WWII submarine's torpedo tubes.
Child seats in cars didn't exist—at least not as safety equipment—and those that did were not attempting any pretense of protection because nobody had yet come up with the idea of crash tests. _Rather, such metal frameworks were clipped to the backrest of the front seat and the toddler inserted therein so as to keep the kid more or less stationary. _For purposes of enhancing such static positioning, a distraction in the form of a cute little plastic steering wheel was attached and the child actually believed such minuscule gadgetry would impart directional control to the family behemoth. _There was a little horn in the middle and beeping away at it was more fun than repeatedly whining, "Are we there yet?" _Older children could lay down on the rear deck, pressed up against the back window, or sit on Dad's lap, sharing the driving duties, four hands on the 24-inch, finger-knurled wheel.
There are many on here that are perfectly content to strap a car seat into the back of a Touring with the kid's head well above the 'rim of the bucket' and claim moral superiority over others and try to minimize the claims of Model T rollovers.
I've ridden one grandson around in my TT with no car seat or seat belts, but it was only on very seldom traversed dead end dirt road we live on with only 3 neighbors, so other traffic is essentially nil. Our other grandson has ridden in a car seat in our Model A, but it is a closed car, so not so prone to scraping off the top of his head if it were to turn over. Neither have ridden in the Touring car and I'm not sure when we will do that. My personal belief is that being thrown clear, while certainly not ideal, is preferable to being strapped into an open car in the event of a rollover. Not sure the law would see it that way. But I'm not sure they really care about the safety of the occupants as much as the law in the way it is written, which probably says car seat....with no regards to the car seat being an almost certain death sentence to a kid in the event of a rollover.
Wife is Vietnamese and this is how they handle kids there. Different when it's our own youngin here.
Life is a gamble. Neurotic anxiety is a loss before one even gets started.
Live life like you are about to die.
The First T drive my Daughter went on, she was 5 days old. She is now two and loves to take rides in the Model T. We tried the car seat thing once and decided it wasn't safe in the roadster. She has ridden next to Mom and I or on her Mom's lap since. A couple weeks ago we took a 150 mile trip in the T with no incident. I've never been accosted. I was taught from a young age to take care, and I am attempting to teach my daughter the same. In Washington State, motor vehicles are required to have the safety they were equipped with from the factory, and are not required to be updated. Child restraints included.
(Message edited by mikerobison on October 20, 2015)
"Live life like you are about to die."
This approach works OK for most of us old f#rts However, I would consider it VERY BAD advice when given to a 16 year old boy. They don't believe they're ever going to die. The combination can and often does produce catastrophic results.
Henry- Burger is advocating living life to its fullest. People perish all the time and to put all 16 year old boys in a group of brainless idiots is as silly as taking Burgers quote literally. Bad things happen and life isn't guaranteed. Most of us have made it past age 16 even after people had told us to do dumb stuff. The reason we are here today is most likely because we use commonsense. This is a trait often lost on some people. (Live long and prosper and may the force be with you) catch my drift?
In the 70s my kids rode in the back of our '26 roadster pickup...with a pile of pillows and blankets. Don't know how this would go today. I liked it then.
As Robison says .... don't over-think this. Just do it.
No amount of guilt will change the past. No amount of anxiety will change the future.
Use your head, trust your judgement, or as they said in the USMC ... hit 'em hard, hurt
'em fast, get it over with !
Here in Missouri adults do not need seat belts if the car did not have them originally installed. But there is no exemption for kids. I just give kids ride strictly local. That means just around the block, and only when they are old enough to appreciate the ride. I have three grand kids that are just coming of age. I know this because they asked for the ride.
California law requires child safety restraints, and makes no exceptions for what kind of vehicle. So I put seat belts in all of my old cars when my daughter was little. I won't get into a debate whether we were any safer with them in a wooden body car, but it kept her contained while I was busy driving. She still likes riding with dad in old cars. She will be starting to drive before we know it. What I worry about is she prefers the crazy fast T racer. It has five point race harnesses, and a roll bar. I'm not sure I'll ever let a youngster drive it solo.
So we must be illegal when someone rides in the back of a parade-route TT????
There is no reason to put your child at risk in a Model T. Get one thing straight, "You cannot, under any circumstances, make it safe" period. Forget about the old days. That stuff doesn't happen any more for one reason. It's not safe. If you're willing to risk you child's life it's your business just keep in mind, regardless of what any one else says YOU are risking your child's life.
Don't put a child seat or seat belts in a model T. It's foolish. Upon impact, a model T becomes a contraption of wooden daggers and sheet metal shards. It's a death trap if you're anchored in it. You're far better off being puked out of it.
Take proper precautions, use common sense, and then watch out for the other guy..... And remember to duck?
The hazards are out there whenever anyone (even ourselves) who slides behind the wheel, or is a passenger.
Or something just lets go like all the other single car accidents listed here over the years.
The Orient Buckboard offered a $25 optional detachable child's seat in 1904:
Despite the obvious advantages of the Orient system, I have sturdy seat belts in the '12 KisselKar (and also my '24 Speedster). In the photo below, our grandson is harnessed into his regular car seat, which in turn is belted into the car (belts hidden under the blanket). I don't worry about rollovers, as I believe the likelihood of a stay-upright collision is many times greater and this arrangement will provide substantial protection.
I feel compelled to comment not because I need to persuade anyone to do what I do, but only to draw a conclusion between two threads. After reading of Frank Kulick's episodes in Rob Hayen's racing thread, and seeing the wreckage, it seems that it was a good thing Kulick wasn't strapped to the vehicle.
Some may lecture me about risking my children's lives, but we're living life to its fullest, and enjoying every bit of it. Anything worth doing has some risk involved. My kids are seeing the world, learning about and appreciating history, learning mechanical skills, and creating a strong family bond.
This sure beats being "safe" playing video games while riding in a minivan oblivious to the world around them like the car-rides the rest of their generation are experiencing.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I've read "...died when he was ejected from the vehicle..." in the papers.
Not really trying to "muddy the water here", but this subject about seat belts and children comes up on the forum quite regularly. My question is, why is it always so controversial when most (if not all) conventional school busses absolutely do not have seat belts? And nobody seems to consider that a problem,.....seems strange to me,.....FWIW,.....harold
Modern cars have places in them where you can live but where is that place in a model T?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Sometimes. Sometimes I am glad that I do not have to commit myself to a position on this subject. Most of the time, I envy all of you that have wonderful families and grandkids. I will likely never know that joy.
Clearly I choose to take certain risks myself. I would no more put a seat belt in a model T speedster than I would on a motorcycle. A touring car or runabout is only slightly better.
The law, varies by state. And the law, is not always right.
While NO ONE should recklessly endanger a child (not theirs, not anyone else's), thousands of people do exactly that, recklessly endanger children, EVERY DAY! Most of them, are not in any way enriching the child in the process.
The statistical probability, the odds, are well in your favor that children riding in your antique car will be fine, AS LONG AS YOU DRIVE IT CAREFULLY! And there is little doubt that this sort of family activity will enhance the child's self-worth and place in the world.
It is a difficult dilemma.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Bud hit the nail on the head. That place doesn't exist on a Model T. Not an open one anyway.
No doubt you can be killed by being ejected from a vehicle. It is probably one of the more common ways to be killed in a collision between modern vehicles, as so many of the other ways have been eliminated. Today, there are not that many 'convertibles' made anymore and the ones that are, are made to modern safety standards. The windshield frames act as roll bars and will support the vehicle upside down, leaving a fair amount of space where a strapped in passenger's head will not likely strike the ground, in the unlikely event that the low CG vehicle does roll over. The high CG of a Model T makes it much more likely to roll over than a modern car. You think that Model T windshield is gonna give you that same head room when it's upside down? Nah, me either. To expound on something Wayne said above, What is the difference between seat belts in an open car and seat belts on a motorcycle? Little to none in my opinion. At what age can a child ride as a passenger on a motorcycle? I'm not sure in GA. I'm not sure there is a law about that, but my oldest son was riding on mine by first grade. I remember taking him to school on it.
He is now a police officer and he is pretty strict on car seat tickets. I've not asked him about riding my grandson in the Touring Car. Right now, it doesn't interest him, so it's not a big deal anyway. He has ridden in the Model A Town Sedan, but it has seat belts in the rear to hold a car seat. I'm not sure that even that would guarantee his safety, but I feel better about it than being strapped in a Touring Car, and it would probably satisfy the local law enforcement.
Perhaps they should put an age limit on riding in an old car. Say..... somewhere between being able to vote and being able to buy a six pack of Budweiser. That would probably take care of it. By that age, they probably wouldn't give rat's behind about riding in it anyway.
I'll go along with Charlie B. The Model T (as is the case with practically all old cars) is unsafe, and short of re-engineering it to the point that it is no longer a Model T, it can never be made safe. Safer yes, but not to anywhere near the standards of a modern car. There was little if any thought given to the T's crashworthiness; it was built to replace a horse (another unsafe means of conveyance). Attaching carseats, seatbelts, or other similar restraints may make the driver or parent feel better, but it is "lipstick on a pig." Sorry for any hurt feelings.
Could you please clarify whether you just agree that the Model T will never be safe or that you should never ride a child in your Model T, which what I thought CharlieB was saying?
I will agree that a Model T is not safe, but I don't believe the danger is so great as to deny kids the pleasure of riding in one. Hell, maybe you shouldn't let one out of bed. They could fall in the tub or something.
When I rolled my model T back in 2001 I would have been killed for sure if I had been restrained in the seat. My passenger was hurled out to the grassy edge beyond the curb and I fell between the seat and the dashboard.
For reasons above, no seat belts in my speedster and no kids without their parents understanding and permission.
The kids we appear to be talking about here, since the post concerns child seats and belts to retain said seats, are infants I put it to you: who is getting pleasure the kid or the parent? The answer my friends is the parent because the kid probably doesn't give a d**m one way or the other. Hal inferred that I wouldn't ride a child in a T. An infant? No. There's no sane reason to subject the kid to the possibly dangerous situation except my own gratification. Accidents happen safety doesn't. A kid might step off a non-skid mat in the tub but it's preventable. I take a kid for a ride in a T and it's on me 100%. Totally preventable. I'll answer your questions myself Hal: 1 The Model T is not and can never be made safe and 2 Infants have no business in T's beyond parent gratification.
I dunno about other areas, but around here there is a PSA running on TV quite a bit about "talking, singing, and reading to your infant because that is the age that their brain is forming" and developing. It isn't only talk. Exposure to many types of stimuli help that formation. Mobiles hanging from the ceiling, seeing animals, and so many other things that they cannot begin yet to understand, will help them to wonder and understand more later.
I have NO doubt, that riding in antique cars would on balance do much more benefit than harm to nearly all children. Safety is good, but too much protectionism is not good. My father used to say often that the best lessons he ever learned was from falling off his tricycle when he was two or three years old. No serious injuries resulted. But he learned that it could hurt, and it was his responsibility to play (and work and later drive) safely. Hundreds of teenagers die each year because they have never learned that lesson.
Unfortunately, among the biggest stumbling blocks on our issue at hand, are the law and potential public scorn if something terrible were to happen. Those are important considerations, even though denying rides to children also would likely harm them in developmental ways.
This is one of those things that every model T owner, parent, and grandparent, will have to decide what to do for themselves. Whatever you decide? Do so with care, and no regrets.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I believe that any car of the age of a Model T is not safe by modern standards. I also believe that parents should make their own decisions as to which experiences they will expose their children.
I do not believe that they should attach "Band-Aids" to a fundamentally unsafe piece of machinery with the idea that they are making it safe.
At my age, I do not expect to have young children, but I would be willing to take parents and their young children for rides in my T. I have made it clear to parents of young children that the T is a basically unsafe vehicle by modern standards. So is a dirt bike, a motorcycle, or a snowmobile.
Nowadays, kids have to be in seat until their something like 8-10-12 years old or meet a minimum weight, so we are not just talking infants. Both of my grandsons are roughly 3. One is totally enamored with my TT and LOVES to ride in it. I am afraid to take him out on the road, though, but we ride on the dirt road we live on. Three is not an infant, but is still YEARS from not being required to ride in a car seat. And at 3, he is most certainly doing it for his pleasure more than mine.
Child seat laws do not apply only to infants.
My kids are still legally required to be in booster seats at ages 5 & 7 until they are over 4' tall, which will be a while yet. They were required to be in car seats until 40lbs, and because my kids are small for their age, they were 6 and 4 when they finally were able to legally not be in full car-seats with 5-point harnesses.
They have been riding in Model Ts since they were toddlers, and enjoy the hobby as much or more than I do. We talk daily about the speedsters they want to build, and they're learning valuable mechanical skills while they help out in the garage. It's an outlet for their creativity while they also learn and appreciate history.
It's not simply a ride in a car. It's a lifelong passion that I'm proud to pass down just the same as it was passed to me.
Passion inspires greatness. I have no doubt that this hobby will influence their life-choices far into the future. Career-paths, staying out of trouble, motivation to succeed, etc. It definitely had an effect on me in all those ways.
I'm thankful my parents didn't shelter me from it.
A few years ago, I decided to get proactive about my car's relationship with the local constabulary and state police. _I visited both institutions (with my modern car), showed them my paperwork and a printout of the laws that grandfather in my '15 Touring and its lack of seat-belts, windshield-wipers, etc. _They agreed the car was legal, equipped as it was. _While there, I also asked about the allowable minimum age of passengers and it turns out that in the State of New York, anyone above baby-seat age (8) is okay in a Model T—at least legally speaking. _It happened that one of the officers was a car guy and he invited me to his favorite cruise-in. _I showed up with the T and gave him and his kid a ride.
I made a point of noting his name and that of the other officer with whom I spoke, with the intention of dropping their names in the event of a hostile pull-over (Well gee, Sir, Sergeant Kraus at the 25th Precinct and Trooper Walton at the Crooked Hill Road Station both said my car was okay when I went to visit and ask about it. _In fact, I met Trooper Walton at a car show and gave him and his daughter a ride in the car and they really enjoyed it. _I'm sure he would remember me).