A tragedy took place on Sunday (June 18) when a Toyota multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) carrying a family of five met with an accident on the Seletar Highway, resulting in the death of a 38-year-old woman.
According to The Straits Times, the vehicle lost control and skidded at around 1.50pm near the Tampines Expressway exit.
In the vehicle at the time were the woman’s husband, who was driving, their oldest son (age 9) who was in the front passenger seat, and their two younger sons aged three and six, who were in the back seat with their mother.
The MPV had reportedly hit the metal barrier near the side of the expressway. The rear window of the vehicle shattered due to the impact of the crash, sending the mother and her youngest son flying out of the window.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, reports the Straits Times, and her youngest son was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he is currently in stable condition. He is reported to have sustained head and back injuries in the accident.
The father got away with back pain, and both other boys were taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital with minor injuries.
Little ones should always be restrained properly in appropriate car seats.
The importance of vehicle safety
It is unclear if the mother and her children were wearing seat belts or sitting in car seats when the accident happened. But the tragedy certainly serves as an eye-opener to the importance of:
- not permitting young children to sit in the front seat of a moving vehicle;
- all passengers in a vehicle wearing seat belts;
- young children being seated in appropriate car seats.
According to a statement by the Singapore Police Force and the Traffic Police:
“From 1 January 2012, age will no longer be used as a criterion to determine if child restraints or booster seats are required. Anyone below the height of 1.35m will be required to be secured with a child restraint appropriate for a person of that height and weight, use a booster seat to supplement the seat belt or an adjustable seat belt. Those with a height of 1.35m and above, irrespective of their age, will be required to wear a seat belt.
“This change in criterion was made in consultation with the Ministry of Health and following a review of international standards and practices. This threshold height is found to be more suitable in deciding the proper fitting of seat belts and also consistent with current practices in countries such as the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Belgium.”
These rules are still in effect.
To read more about car safety for children and families in Singapore, please read this comprehensive article.
We at theAsianparent extend our heartfelt condolences to the family involved in the accident, for their loss.