The multi-modal mama: safety first

Park if you heart babies...As a new mama, I am already accustomed to parenting advice coming at me from all angles. Favorite topics are the sanity of my current practice of riding the bus with my baby, and the safety of my intention to bike with my baby as soon as her little head is big enough for her helmet.

In fact, my intention to raise a low-car family is the single most important thing I can do to keep my baby safe.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has already established that motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among American children. A recent study from New York City puts a different spin on the same basic story; they found that children in New York City are three times less likely to die in traffic accidents than the national average. Why? Because kids in New York spend so much more time on transit.

These studies reveal the fallacy of putting our faith (and our kids' safety) in an automobile-sized protective safety deposit box. Only an MTA-sized protective safety deposit box will actually keep our kids safer. (And no, super-sized SUVs do not count.)

As fellow blogging mama Anna Fahey of Sightline Institute astutely points out, we focus too much on how to make driving safer when the most fundamental way to put our kids at less risk is to simply drive less.

Over the coming months, I'll share the insights, inspiration and issues that I encounter along my journey as a low-car, multi-modal mama.

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