Toyota’s Buckle Up for Life Program: Staying Safe During the Holidays

Because this time of year is one of the busiest travel seasons, Toyota is teaming with Cincinnati Children’s for “Buckle Up for life,” a national injury prevention program. New Holiday Traditions for Child Passenger Safety is one aspect of the program, aiming to keep kids safe this holiday season.

According to Toyota, nearly 42 million Americans are taking road trips this time of year. Despite recent innovations to safety, there are still few things safer than buckling up. Car seats are also important, capable of greatly reducing risk of injury for children under 12 years old.

“Whether you’re traveling far this holiday season or staying local, no trip with small children is complete without a properly installed car seat,” said Gloria Del Castillo, child passenger safety expert at Cincinnati Children’s and senior outreach specialist for Buckle Up for Life. “Our goal with these traditions is to offer simple ways to make child passenger safety a part of every family’s routine – during the holidays and throughout the year.”

As part of the new program, check out these new “holiday traditions”:

  • Get the whole family involved
  • Don’t re-gift child safety seats. Wear and tear can compromise safety.
  • Car seats do expire; check the date on the side.

These are just a handful of ways to keep you and your family safer as the holidays approach.

Continuously Variable Transmissions: What Are They and How Do They Work?

If you’ve been shopping for a new car recently, you’ve probably noticed the surge in continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) on the market. This innovative transmission technology is capable of perfect gear ratios and upping fuel economy.

According to Autoguide, a CVT doesn’t use gears, in the traditional sense. Instead, this transmission works by using a pair of variable-diameter pulleys (which look like cones) and a special high strength belt. Instead of shifting in and out of gears through a complex clutch and hydraulic system like a normal transmission, a CVT uses a system of cone-like pulleys (with one end thicker than the other) to eliminate unnecessary steps.

Jim Paris, director for Continental in the NAFTA region, explains: “By varying their dimensions the belt itself rides higher or lower on the pulleys and changes the ratio between the drive and the driven pulley.”

What’s different? Drivers will notice that CVTs don’t shift like normal cars; instead, you’re offered one smooth ride. Although this takes some getting used to, you’re always in the right “gear” when you’re using a CVT. This boosts fuel economy and optimizes power transfer. Though this technology was actually found in small engines, like some mowers, the belts were not strong enough for cars. Thanks to recent breakthroughs, the CVT is quickly becoming the ideal transmission option.