Thursday, August 28, 2014

An Autogas LPG Car Review - #MyLPGJourney

I've seen Autogas for sale at a number of filling stations on my travels, especially in Europe and I've been vaguely aware of the LPG product for some time but until recently I had never travelled in a gas-powered car, and never even knew of anyone who had.  So when Autogas contacted ParentWheels to offer us the chance to try LPG for ourselves, I jumped at the opportunity.

This is my video diary of a week spent driving a Ford Focus 1.6 EcoBoost which had been converted to use LPG.

Autogas is the UK's leading authority on autogas usage, refuelling and car conversions.  Feel free to drop me a comment below if you'd like to know more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Is Your Child Secure In Their Booster Seat?

I would always recommend a high backed booster seat for children ages above 4 years old, but regardless of the style of child's car seat you use, it is important to make sure that the seat belt that holds it in place is correctly positioned and held taut enough to protect your child in the event of impact. The SHOFT is a new accessory for both adults and children that is designed to keep your seatbelt taut when travelling.

RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) recommends that seat belts are worn as tight as possible across the pelvis but, as you drive, cornering and braking can cause the belt to slacken and become improperly positioned. For a child's booster seat it is important that the belt remains in the correct place across the pelvis in order to protect your child (after all, this is the position that the belt is in when both the car and the car seat are crash tested by their manufacturers). The SHOFT is a small, simple attachment for your seat belt which acts as a brake against the seat belt, holding it tight and reducing the movement of the belt during travel.

We were sent a pack of two SHOFT attachments to review. We have tried them out on the adult seats of our car to help improve our posture (SHOFT is good for reducing backache too!) and also on the rear seats to help ensure that the children's car seats are properly secured when they are sitting in them. The install the SHOFT you fold the belt back and slip the device over the existing plastic tongue of the belt. When you relax the belt you can clearly see that the bright orange bulge on the SHOFT causes the belt to be held tighter in place.

I've used the SHOFT on my own seat for a month. I certainly notice a small improvement in my posture but I wouldn't say that it totally eliminates slackness on the belt - it does reduce it though. On my eldest daughter's high back booster seat I was particularly keen to try the SHOFT. As a 5 year old she is particularly wiggly when we travel in the car and tends to try and reach for stuff that she has dropped, or lean over and prod her little sister! I was hoping that the SHOFT would help to keep her a little bit more stable in her seat; it does to start off with but, once again, I've found that over longer distances the SHOFT does still allow some movement of the belt and it is important for us to undo and re-tighten the belt if we stop during our travels.

Using the SHOFT has given me a little more confidence that the girls' car seats are correctly secured when we travel and it does give me a little peace of mind knowing that the belt is more likely to be in the correct position to protect them if we were in an accident. It is such a small, nifty and easy-to-install gadget that there doesn't seem a good reason NOT to use one; I'm surprised that the car manufacturers haven't provided something similar already.

This video shows how easy it is to fit:

This August, SHOFT will be launching a funding campaign through the UK’s largest crowd funding network, to help SHOFT ramp up production to meet demand. This provides concerned parents and all drivers across the country with the chance to make small donations to help fund the company and in exchange, they will receive one of the very first production packs of SHOFT, with a portion of each donation going towards supporting the UK charity Back Care and the UK children’s charity WilliamsFund. To register your interest in SHOFT please visit and click ‘Get Yours’ to sign up so you can be notified when the campaign goes live on Crowdfunder. You’ll also receive your free illustrated eBook on top tips for a healthier drive. You can also follow Shoft on Facebook.
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