News Column

Toyota Expands National Safety Program

Oct.12, 2012

Responding to disproportionate risks that African American and Hispanic children face in motor vehicle-related crashes, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Toyota and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center announced they are bringing the groundbreaking national safety education program Buckle Up for Life - or Abrochate a la Vida in Spanish - to Philadelphia for the first time. The program represents a partnership between two of U.S. News' top-three children's hospitals and one of the world's largest automakers to improve the safety of some of the most vulnerable children on the road.

Research analyzed by Cincinnati Children's shows that, due to multiple factors, African American and Hispanic children are significantly less likely than non-African American and non-Hispanic children to be buckled up in seat belts or properly installed car seats.

Key Facts

-- Car crashes are the number one killer of children in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 12.[i] -- African American and Hispanic children are as much as 10 times less likely than Caucasian children to be restrained while in a car.[ii]

-- In crashes involving fatalities in children under 14, seat belt use is lower among African Americans than among all other race or ethnic groups,[iii] and 52 percent of African American children in fatal crashes were unrestrained, the most of any race or ethnic group. [iv]

-- Three out of every 4 car seats are not used or installed correctly (across race and ethnic groups)[v].

-- The number of children buckled up nearly tripled among families who participated in one of Buckle Up for Life's pilot cities.[vi]

-- More than 45,000 participants have completed the program and over 20,000 car seats have been distributed.

The expansion of Buckle Up for Life to Philadelphia is part of an effort by Toyota and Cincinnati Children's to double the program's reach. The new partnership with CHOP joins other new Buckle Up for Life programs in Las Vegas, Houston and Orange County, CA. In addition, Buckle Up for Life programs are already in place with local hospital partners in Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Antonio.

"We are pleased to see CHOP's partnership with Toyota expand to include the Buckle Up for Life program developed by our colleagues at Cincinnati Children's," said Dr. Steven Altschuler, Chief Executive Officer, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Our number one priority is to keep children safe and help save lives. Together with Toyota, we hope to make a real difference in Philadelphia and increase awareness of the need to be properly buckled up."

"At Toyota, we are strongly committed to the belief that everyone deserves to be safe," said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation at Toyota Motor North America. "Through our educational outreach, Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) and numerous partnerships with leading hospitals, nonprofits and research universities nationwide, Toyota is engaged extensively in programs that help ensure that drivers and passengers are safe at every stage of life. Buckle Up for Life is a vital commitment for Toyota, and we are proud to be working with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to expand its reach."

Toyota's support for Buckle Up for Life is part of the company's ongoing commitment to help make local communities safer and stronger. The company has contributed more than $600 million to nonprofits throughout the U.S. over the past 20 years.

Buckle Up for Life Marks Third Partnership between Toyota and CHOP to Keep Children Safer in Vehicles Toyota and CHOP have a history of collaborating on cutting-edge research and innovative programs to keep children safer in vehicles. Other current partnerships between Toyota and CHOP include:

Toyota was a founding member of CHOP's Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), a research center that focuses exclusively on making children and adolescents safer. Sponsored by the federal National Science Foundation as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, CChIPS brings together researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The Ohio State University to work side by side with industry members to conduct translational research that is practical to industry. As part of CChIPS, Toyota plays a critical role in the direction and progress of research with an ultimate goal of advancing the safety of children through science, education, and action.

Source: Copyright PRNewswire 2012

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