6 Reasons It's Amazing We Survived Carpooling in the 80s

Life was drastically different in the 80s. Not just the hair, the music, the clothes. But the carpooling! 

This is how many of us who grew up in the 80s used to ride in the car on the way to practice or a game. No seat belts. Hanging out the car in all directions. No rules. 

It all seems so risky now. It's a wonder we survived. 

6 Game Changers that Make Carpooling Safer Today 

1. Seat belts

Cars had them, but we rarely used them. In fact, in 1985, seat belt laws were just beginning to be adopted. Today, we would never imagine leaving the driveway without every last person buckled in. It seems unnatural to be in the car without a seat belt on. 

2. Three across the front

As a kid, the armrest between the driver and passenger was the most coveted seat in the car. It was the first spot every kid called dibs on! Who didn't want this perfect view out the front window! This is just a no go today. 

3. Airbags

By 1989, they were mandated in every car. Prior to this time, airbags were optional. Hitting the brakes hard meant taking a serious blow without this now standard feature. Ouch. Thank goodness for airbag technology. 

4. Rear safety locks

You know, those little buttons you manually activate to keep the rear door from being opened from the inside? In the 80s, backseat passengers (kids) could fling open the door at any time. And since we weren't restrained, whipping open the rear door was something we may have even dared each other to do! Peace of mind for every parent driving young kids. 

5. Car seats

By 1985 the first child passenger safety laws were passed. Before this, we could lounge across the back seat with a blanket and pillow. Slide around the back of the station wagon (a favorite in my family). Or curl up in a ball on the floor. Riding in a car was almost as fun as an amusement park ride. Let's hear it for 5 point restraints in car seats. 

6. Booster seats

In 2000, the first booster seat laws were passed in two states for children over 40 lbs. Seems crazy that we didn't always have these. Especially since the shoulder belt was required and it's nearly impossible to restrain a kid with a shoulder belt when they're the wrong size. Boosters for kids that are a little too big for car seats and too small to fit properly in a shoulder belt are just plain smart. 

Somehow we made it. It was fun, but honestly, I'm glad the game changed. Now that I'm a mom, driving kids around, the first thing I say before heading off to the field is, 'Buckle up!'