BANGKOK, Thailand — What’s the safest way to drive when I’m pregnant? How should I use safety belts during pregnancy? What should I have in my car? What do I need to be aware of when I have babies or children in the car? These are questions mothers and expecting mothers often have, but may have a hard time getting clear answers on.
In celebration of Mother’s Day in Thailand, Ford hosted a “Safe Driving Workshop for Moms and Moms-To-Be” to help clarify all of these doubts. The afternoon workshop was packed with useful and interesting information from Ford spokespeople, a child seat expert, as well as an experienced obstetrician.
Not only did the participants receive information, insights and tips about driving safety for moms and moms-to be, they also experienced how the all-new Ford Focus – launched in Thailand on August 8 – will make driving safer and easier for moms.
“The workshop is designed to help moms and moms-to-be understand how to drive and operate their vehicles safely, but also provides information that is essential for all drivers,” said Adisai Sirisinha, marketing director, Ford Thailand. “This is part of Ford’s ongoing efforts to promote driving safety in Thailand and in all markets where we operate. Our goal is to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities by providing drivers with the information and hands-on experience they need to understand driving safety.”
Additionally, Panithi Sobhanavsu, aftermarket product manager, Ford Thailand, provided expert tips for what mothers should know about their cars, including basic maintenance and driving dos-and-don’ts.
“There are a variety of basic driving tips that female drivers should know,” said Panithi. “For example, many women like to wear high heels when driving, or leave their shoes under their seats. However, these can cause serious accidents.”
For moms who are concerned about the safety when driving with children, the workshop offered a session on the importance of child seats. Sitang Samankiwat, a child safety seat specialist from Britax, provided essential information and instructions to attendees, including the importance of child seats and proper installation, statistics of children injured in car accidents each year in Thailand, as well as tips for driving with children.
“Child safety seats and booster seats are essential for protecting your children from car accidents. However, many mothers hold their babies in their arms or let children sit on their laps – this is extremely dangerous. Parents must start using child seats more regularly in order to reduce infant and child fatalities and injuries,” said Sitang.
Meanwhile, pregnant drivers should be aware that each period of pregnancy may have widely varying affects on driving. Dr. Yuri Yanase, an experienced obstetrician from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Rajavithi Hospital, taught attendees about what expecting mothers need to know during each trimester of pregnancy. Her presentation included the appropriate position of seat belts, physical and health concerns, as well as other useful tips.
“There is a misperception that seatbelts should not be used by pregnant women so as not to constrict the belly. This is a dangerous myth and in fact, the opposite is correct. Seat belts are essential for protecting drivers and passengers, and can be used correctly without causing any discomfort to the belly,” said Dr. Yuri Yanase.
Safe and Smart Focus
In addition to a classroom session, workshop participants spent time outside to experience the all-new Ford Focus and its segment-leading technologies that make driving safer and easier for moms.
The all-new Ford Focus offers an exciting array of advanced comfort, convenience and safety features which is unmatched in its class, thanks to the combination of Ford’s new global C-car platform and an unprecedented investment in the Company’s latest, class-leading technologies.
Generally found only in larger and more expensive vehicles, features such as Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), and the hands-free connectivity system Ford SYNC® powered by Microsoft have helped the Focus set a new standard for affordable technologies in the mid-size car segment.
These features also provide mothers and other drivers with the ability to cope more easily with the pressures of modern motoring, giving them convenient new ways to deal with everyday challenges like parallel parking, driving safely on busy freeways and tackling the cut-and-thrust of city driving.
Specifically, the all-new Ford Focus has also been designed to be a comfortable car for moms. Ford’s engineers used a pregnancy suit, which allowed them to experience the weight and movement limitations of being pregnant, to help design the car. The specially designed suit allowed Ford’s Ergonomics team to experience how pregnancy affects female drivers.
Workshop participants were able to try on the same pregnancy suit in order to experience the sensation of pregnancy and to test the expecting-mom-friendly features of the all-new Ford Focus.
“The innovative smart and safe features of the all-new Ford Focus were designed with moms in mind,” said Adisai.“This car is packed with features that make driving less stressful, while improving safety and comfort behind the wheel.”
Ongoing Commitment to Customer Safety and Care
Ford is committed to long-term efforts to educate and promote road safety in Thailand. This includes the successful ‘Driving Skills For Life’ program started in 2008, which to date has trained almost 6,000 drivers around Thailand with hands-on safe driving instruction aimed to reduce road accidents and save lives.
With the Mother’s Day Workshop, Ford continues to enhance its social responsibility and customer-care programs to ensure drivers are educated and prepared for the hazards of driving.
The company also recently launched its Mobile Service Units, providing Ford customers in remote locations with basic services and maintenance. Ford is also expanding its dealership network in Thailand to a total of 130 locations across the country by the end of this year.