August 17, 2008,
R.V. asks from Riverside, IL on August 12, 2008
1996 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
My husband and I are trading in our cars today (2004 Ford Focus and 1984 Dodge Caravan) for a 1996 Sebring Convertible (hubby) and a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan (me). To me, the Sebring sounds like a death trap. It's a 2 door which seems like it would make the back seat unsafe if there were an accident. Also, it's a soft top which seems unsafe if there were a roll-over. If the top's down and they get in an accident, would that make it easier for my son to go flying out of the car?
Moms, am I being a ridiculous, over-protective mother if I set a "no-baby-in-the-convertible" rule? I know hubby is excited because he thinks our son will love driving with the wind in his (barely there) hair... so I don't want to be overbearing. Am I justified in banning it or am I being prejudice to convertibles because I've never been in one. Advice?
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your advice. I basically told my husband today that the convertible is not going to be for the baby. I said we can take a family trip around town going 25 mph if we want... but on his days off, when he has the baby... I will take the convertible with me to work and he can drive the van. He laughed and said I was just trying to show off the convertible... and I said suuuuure. :) I gave him all the reasons I gave you guys, plus, thanks to your advice I was able to add about the wind and such and he took it very well. Thanks again mamas. :)
M.K. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2008
I had a 1997 Chrysler Sebring and got rid of it when I got pregnant. Your son will defintely NOT like riding in it with the top down! It is WAAAAAY too windy in the back seat. None of my friends would ride in the back with the top down and my neice and nephew both hated riding in the back when they were younger. It will be a long time before your son could ride in the front seat!
I wouldn't worry too much about rollovers, the previous poster is correct, they are very bottom heavy. It is a fun car, but not practical at all for a small child. I can't even imaging getting him in and out of the car seat with a two door car like that!
L.W. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2008
I had that same car (Sebring) in my single days. It literally stopped working once it hit 80,000 miles.
I did use the Sebring to transport children I babysat for a few times. They were infant and 2 years old at the time. It is VERY hard to get them in and out of that car.
Honestly, I would say "Honey, the convertilbe is your fun car. Lets keep the carseats in the van so it doesn't get dirty from the juice and cherrios being thrown on the floor." I truely don't think your hubby will mind ;) (And you won't look like the bad guy)
M.D. answers from Peoria on August 13, 2008
I would say you have a right to be concerned but no vehicle is completely safe unless you are in a tank! I was in an accident in March, we were in a large SUV and it sustained major damage and the air bags didn't even go off. My friend had serious damage to her foot, luckily I just had some bumps and bruises. The Taurus we hit was also heavily damaged, Thank God there wasn't a child in the back seat because they couldn't even get the empty car seat out. This happened in the town going less than 45 mph. So it could happen to you even driving in your van. I would let him have his fun,no one is immune from car accidents.
J.V. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2008
I would not buy it my mom had one and it was terrible, They don't last long and have many problems.
T.S. answers from Chicago on August 12, 2008
Convertibles rarely roll because they are very bottom-heavy, however, I had a 96 Sebring Convertible and had absolutely NOTHING but problems with it. My husband had the same car before we dated and he had the same experience. It's fun to drive as the driver and passenger in the front seat, but none of my friends would even ride in the back if the top was down because it was SO windy. Even with the top up it's loud in the back seat.
I only allow my 4 year old to ride with my husband in his convertible (just started this year). If he has the younger kids we trade cars. His is a hard top, but he couldn't fit all three in the back seat anyway.
If I were you I'd wait to get a convertible or switch when you're husband has your son. My kids don't even like it when I have the sunroof open in my minivan.
K.B. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2008
I read this and I think Wow! I have been wanting a Jeep my whole life. My kids are finally getting old enough to where I would get one as an extra "fun car." I am wondering if they would ride in it? I do have a sunroof in my new Honda and my oldest, who can ride in the front now, does not like the sun hitting her through the open sun roof. My younger two who sit in the back, can't hear their video games and Leapster's if the sun roof is open. Most of the time we ride around with the air conditioning on. What the heck? Are these kids spoiled, or what? I think, anyone can get hurt in a convertible crash. I think anyone can get hurt in any type of crash. It is totally up to you, if you buy this car or not, but I am now realizing that there are more issues than just the car crashing!
A.P. answers from Peoria on August 17, 2008
I have personal experience with a roll over accident. I rolled my Mustang in 1995 and the only think that saved me (in addition to my seat belt, of course) as I rolled off the highway doing 65 mph, was that I was driving a hard top and not a convertible. The entire roof of the car was dented and misshapen. After that experience, in which my scalp was very sore and bright red from hitting the roof of the car as the vehicle rolled down an embankment, I would never ride in a convertible myself, unless it had a roll bar, let alone with my kids. I guess I wouldn't think he would be more likely to get thrown from the car, but to be crushed in the accident.
I hear what others are saying about convertibles being bottom heavy, but honestly, how much could the top of a car weigh that it would make any difference?
I don't think you are being too paranoid at all. Stick to your guns! ;)
S.C. answers from Chicago on August 12, 2008
I think your concerns are realistic although consider if your husband is a bad driver, has he ever gotten into a major accident before, is he not the most allert driver. I know they're called "accidents" for a reason but if you're secure in his driving, them maybe you could be more open to it.
BUT, I think one of the others gals makes a very good point. I personally hate being in a convertable with the top down. It's way too windy, you can't hear anything and I find it hard to breathe because of all the wind. Unless it's going to be a "around the town" car and you're only going to be driving at slow speeds do I honestly think a young child would enjoy it or even be comfortable. If I even blow in my son's face he tries to catch his breath with a big deep inhale so I know it wouldn't work for our family. Plus, you will have no trunk space with the top down, the back seat is usually even smaller than that of a 2 door and what if you have more kids? I would say these could be your bigger concerns. Maybe take your son to the dealership, put his carseat in it and take him for a spin, making sure to drive over 45 or 55 MPH and see what happens!
A.P. answers from Chicago on August 12, 2008
I also want a convertable or a Jeep, but I am too nervous about putting the kids in one just yet. So I can relate to your concerns...whether any of it would actually happen or not! I have decided to wait until both kids are out of carseats/boosters until I get a fun car like that.