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.
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.
Automobile accidents are challenging enough. Being unprepared, without a clue about what to do, can only add to the trauma. That’s why it’s a good idea to put together an accident checklist that includes the following:
Am I safe?
Your first priority is ensuring your own safety. Before anything else happens, make sure you are out of harm’s way. Attend to others if they are in danger.
Record the names and addresses of everyone involved in the accident (including passengers). Note the make, model, year, and license plate number of every vehicle involved. Write down the insurance policy number and driver’s license number of every driver involved.
Using your cell phone, take photos of the damage. If it helps, take photos of the entire scene. Write down the details.
File a claim
Report the accident to your insurance company.
Write down this checklist and keep in your glove box or save in your phone. Then, in the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident, you can simply work your way down the list.
When it comes to driving safety, the stakes are high. In 2011, seven teenagers aged from 16 to 19 died everyday from motor vehicle injuries (CDC).
Toyota has long taken up the flag of teen driving safety. Just recently, the automaker launched two defensive driving campaigns aimed at encouraging teens to be better drivers.
TeenDrive365 Video Challenge
This is the fifth year that Toyota has offered this challenge in which high school students are asked to make a short film that inspires other teenagers to minimize driving distractions. The submissions are judged by a panel consisting of “community leaders, educators, communications experts, and Toyota representatives.” The winner will receive $15,000 and work with a bona fide film crew to re-shoot their film as a TV-ready PSA.
Toyota Driving Coach
The number one factor influencing how a teen will drive is their parents’ behavior behind the wheel. Armed with this data, Toyota created a program with DoSomething.org in which teens can help their parents become better drivers (making the teens better in the process). Teens will receive texts from DoSomething.org describing unsafe driving behaviors and then help the teens decide how to address those behaviors if they see them in their parents.
For more information on both programs, click here!
Although no one plans to get stuck on the side of the road while traveling, it is important to prepare for unfortunate events by packing an emergency roadside kit. Your kit can be as comprehensive or as basic as you choose, but here are some of the items we at Bill Walsh Toyota think are necessities.
Extra windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, and brake fluid
Two quarts of oil and a funnel
As you create your emergency kit, be sure that you know how to use all of the supplies in it. You won’t want to fumble around trying to read or research directions in the midst of an unexpected situation that is likely to make you frazzled already. Of course, feel free to add optional items like a good book or a travel game to keep yourself entertained as you wait.
Ideally, you won’t ever have to use your emergency kit, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.