A dad who lost his son to an auto accident last year has launched an online campaign to get people to pay more attention to their children and the safety of their vehicles.
Eric Thomas and his family live in the Melbourne suburb of Burwood and have a two-year-old son named Eric.
In November last year, Eric Thomas, a 27-year old father of two, lost control of his car while he was walking along the footpath of a busy suburban street in the suburb of Woodville.
He crashed into a utility pole and flipped over the car.
His family and friends tried to revive him, but his heart was too far gone to be revived.
Eric was taken to hospital and later died.
The accident has brought Eric’s death into the spotlight, and sparked debate over safety in the industry.
Mr Thomas says that in recent months, his family has been inundated with calls and emails asking for help with their son’s funeral arrangements.
“People say ‘how do I get in touch with someone to help me with the funeral arrangements’,” he said.
“It’s been really tough, because so many people are contacting us and saying ‘how can I help me?’
I’m very busy.”
What I’m doing is trying to educate people about the importance of children and their safety, and how much they need to be cared for.
“Mr Thomas is using his social media platform to get more people to check their cars for defects, and also to remind people that they are responsible for their children.”
The more you know about defects and how to spot them, the more likely it is that they will be fixed, and we need to do something about it,” he said of safety issues in the auto industry.”
We need to make sure that kids are safe, and it is our duty to protect them.
“In recent months there has been a surge in vehicle accidents across the country, with some people complaining that there is a shortage of safe vehicles to drive.
There are fears that carmakers have been taking too long to fix defective models.
Some experts have suggested that manufacturers could have to offer free crash test tests to drivers, to help ensure they are not putting their lives at risk.”
I think that’s a great idea.
I think it’s a good idea that they could offer free test, because if they don’t do that, then there’s nothing that they can do,” Dr John Kelly, a specialist in safety and accidents at Melbourne’s Royal Melbourne Hospital, said.
He said that he was not aware of any cases where free crash tests had been offered, but it would be difficult to know if the issue was affecting the safety situation in Australia.”
There’s a problem with the test, so if we don’t test it, there’s no way that it could be checked, so it would certainly be a problem,” Dr Kelly said.
Mr Thomas says that people are also increasingly choosing to keep their vehicles and don’t feel comfortable driving them, and that could have a devastating impact on the industry and on children.
He has already started a petition to raise awareness about the issue, and has even started a Facebook group, called ‘Safe Cars for Kids’ and has more than 700 people signed up so far.”
My son was born with a disability, and when he was five or six months old, he had a broken femur, which he would have needed to have surgery to repair,” he explained.”
So we had to wait for surgery to be done, so we couldn’t go out to a nearby park, or even to a shop, because we didn’t have a car.
“And we had no money, so I had to work on him to make him walk a bit, and help him walk, so that we could have access to a car.”
Mr Thoms father Eric says that the issue is getting worse and worse, with more people reporting unsafe driving.
“They’ve all been on this issue, so now there’s a group of parents that are just sitting there and saying, ‘we need to get involved’,” he explained, adding that the response to the petition has been positive.
“But we still have a long way to go.”
Some parents are saying ‘we’re not going to change, we’re not changing because we don’t want to lose our child to this issue’.
“He said he and his wife are working with car companies to ensure that the vehicles are repaired and that there are safety standards in place.”
Our whole point is to make these vehicles safer, not make these cars safe for kids,” he added.
Mr and Mrs Thomas have not yet decided what they will do next, but have already been working on a project that will include a film about the crash.”
Eric would have loved to have been able to get his son back to the park and play in the playground with his friends,” Mr Thomas said. Topics:aut