To refuse to give my cousin a lift home when she has a broken leg?

(170 Posts)
NatJon Tue 05-Aug-14 22:33:43

I was in my aunts house today visiting and her daughter, my cousin (27), came down with her 2 yo ds. My cousin has broken her leg so obviously can't drive. Her dp dropped her and their ds down and it was arranged he would pick them up again after he finished a job (self employed electrician).

After 2 hours I was about to leave when my cousin asked me if I would give her and her ds a lift home as her ds was getting bored and tired and she thought her dp would have been back by now. I said no problem as long as there was a spare car seat. My aunt has lots of grandchildren and usually there is is a spare one lying around.

The spare one was being used by another family member but cousin still insisted on a lift home. She lives 5 mins away by car but I was very uncomfortable travelling with her ds without a car seat. I told her this but she just kept saying over and over that it would be ok and she would belt him up, keep a hold of him etc. that he was getting cranky and I was being mean not helping her when she had a broken leg, it's only 5 minutes. I put my foot down and said no, it wasn't happening. Cousin got very angry and started swearing at me saying I was being a fucking prick. My aunt told her to stop talking to me like that but she continued.

She is never like this so it was quite upsetting for me to hear. After about 10 mins, thankfully her dp comes to collect them and the ds can travel safely.

I feel a bit bad I couldn't take them home when her ds was unsettled but thought it more
Important that he be protected in the event of a crash. Cousin obviously thought I was being unreasonable.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 19:45:16

To all the other posters who have responded politely, even if you didn't agree with me but were still polite, thank you smile

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 19:54:49

OMG!
You left this woman, with her 2 yo, in the comfort of her own mother's home for around ten minutes?
How do you sleep at night?

Ffs! It was not an urgent journey.
If a collision had occurred the child could have been seriously injured or worse. You did the right thing. Your cousin was (hopefully temporarily) unhinged.
Why on earth do ppl think the laws on seat belts/ car seats were brought in?
YWNBU (obviously)

Euphemia Wed 06-Aug-14 21:25:57

It makes me mad when people trot out the old "We never wore seatbelts when I was a kid, and we all lived to tell the tale" rubbish.

Firstly, there were far fewer cars on the road:

In 1970, nearly half (48 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.
In 2008, just over a fifth (22 per cent) of all households in Great Britain did not have regular use of a car.

Secondly, of course all children did not live to tell the tale! What a stupid thing to say - are you seriously saying that it's okay not to use the correct child restraint because none of us died in childhood?!

redexpat Wed 06-Aug-14 21:30:12

This is from https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/when-a-child-can-travel-without-a-car-seat I've bolded some of it.

Unexpected journeys

If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

unexpected
necessary
over a short distance

You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab).

SO I think you would have been legally ok if the 2yo was wearing a seat belt, but YANBU. Your car, you're the driver, you say what goes and what doesnt, and good for you for erring on the side of caution so soon after you've passed your test.

Having said all that I'd try and forgive the cousin, it sounds as if she had just had enough, was getting stressed and took it out on you.

SquattingNeville Wed 06-Aug-14 21:33:55

red I took it to mean as an under three both has to been in a car seat, and that car seat has to be secured by a seatbelt.

ThisFenceIsComfy Wed 06-Aug-14 21:42:44

So from that information, it would have been illegal to take her DS as he is only two.

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 21:46:31

Agree, Euphemia.

Children who didn't live to tell the tale are hardly going to be posting on mumsnet about it x years later.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 21:49:26

Depends how old the Ds is though. If he was over three then the 2 yr old could have had the seat and the other kid the belt. And no laws broken.

Obviously the ops choice though , her car.

And they weren't on the side of the road in the snow or anything.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 21:57:47

Omg. Would i take my 3yo in my car without his carseat so that my verbally abusive cousin didn't have to wait for a lift home from her mum's?

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 21:59:35

I thought there was only one child? The 2 yr old dn?

ShadowFall Wed 06-Aug-14 22:00:56

And seconding what TheRealAmandaClarke just said....

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 22:02:41

It's hard to tell because "spare" could mean "another one"
Which could mean one was in use.

But no one should do anything they weren't comfortable with.

NatJon Wed 06-Aug-14 22:05:42

Just the one child, my cousin's ds. My aunt usually has a car seat in her house as she has lots of grandchildren but my other cousin was using it.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 06-Aug-14 22:17:56

I think you did the right thing.
You acted in the best interests of the child.
Im not sure why anyone would have a problem with that.

SureFootedWhispher Wed 06-Aug-14 22:26:34

I can think of about 6 tributes within 10 minutes of our house to car crash victims.

I wouldn't have done it.

flappityfanjos Wed 06-Aug-14 22:56:46

From some of the posts on here anyone would think the OP left this woman stranded in the middle of nowhere with no other way to get home. Her partner was just a little later picking her up than expected. This wasn't a necessary trip, let alone an emergency.

In the cousin's shoes I don't think I'd even ask for a lift. Let alone call someone a fucking prick for not giving me one. And yes, I have been in pain, stressed out and barely able to walk. I still wouldn't be getting up in someone's face about driving me home, I'd be asking my mum to take my stroppy toddler into the garden. There were adults around to help with the fractious child - how much better was it actually going to be at home alone with the kid?

Setting aside the legality for a moment, the OP is a new driver and was worried about a small child's safety. She is not obliged to do things that make her uncomfortable, and that really isn't precious or self-righteous (seriously, what do some of you think, that she said no purely to score good-mummy points over her cousin?). If a driver feels something is unsafe, they shouldn't do it. So some of you are heroes who would never let a mother and child be inconvenienced by having to wait ten more minutes in a safe and welcoming house. Well done you.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 23:58:13

I'm sure my posts are invisible. I posted what red posted pages back.

Thumbwitch Thu 07-Aug-14 00:36:19

Morphine, I often think that too! grin But I think it's when people read the first few posts then skip to the end and read the last few posts to see what's changed - they miss all the valuable information in the middle, so you end up being "ignored" in favour of the latest poster of the same info. It's a touch annoying but just the nature of the beast, especially when there are quite a few posts.

Catkinwillow Thu 07-Aug-14 01:17:24

SolidGoldBrass you were standing there with a smug self-righteous face on going oooh, no, more than my job's worth. Do you not get how fucking maddening that sort of attitude is to someone who is in pain and stressed out?

How do you know what look the OP had on her face - were you there at the time? It might be fucking maddening although I don't see why, but why the hell should the OP risk being involved in an accident, being blamed and prosecuted if there was one and the child/mother was injured? Just because her cousin was in a bad temper? Get real!

redexpat Thu 07-Aug-14 13:57:06

morphine i thought that too! It was such a good point i was getting ctoss that people werent seeing it!

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