The use of child safety restraints and seatbelts is alarmingly low in the Hispanic and African-American communities. A new program that is sponsored partly by automaker Toyota is trying to help fix the wide disparities in seat belt and child safety restraint use between whites and minority communities.
Last month, researchers at the University Of Michigan published a report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The report indicated that African-American and Hispanic children are left unrestrained in cars at rates that are 10 times higher than those involving white children. Among older children, the rate is 2 times higher.
A new program called Buckle up for Life that is partly sponsored by automaker Toyota is working through churches in communities across the country to educate people about the importance of restraining their children safely when they drive. The program lasts for 6 weeks, and over the course of the 6 weeks, participants are educated about the serious safety issues involved when their children are not safely buckled up or restrained in a car seat or booster seat in the car. The program not only offers education and awareness, but also distributes car seats. Experts at the site demonstrate the correct way of installing a car seat.
The program is currently being offered in churches in California, including those in Los Angeles. Across the country, churchgoers in San Antonio, Cincinnati, Houston, Chicago and Las Vegas also have access to the program. There are also plans to expand the program to Orange County, and a number of other cities by the end of 2013.
It is estimated that as many as 45,000 people have taken part in the program. Toyota Motor North America says that as many as 20,000 child car seats have been distributed as part of the program.
Car accident lawyers in California would recommend that parents who are not happy with their child car seat restraint usage attend these programs and benefit from them.
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