On October 12, 2012, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Toyota, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced that the groundbreaking national safety education program Buckle Up for Life is now coming to Philadelphia. Created in response to research showing that African American and Hispanic children are significantly less likely than non-African American and non-Hispanic children to be properly restrained in car seats or seat belts, the program works with local hospital and churches to address the barriers to motor vehicle safety in the Hispanic and African American communities.

Over a six-week period, Buckle Up for Life’s medical experts and trained specialists deliver vital safety information to program participants, who are eligible to receive free car seats and are matched with certified child passenger safety technicians to help install the seats and ensure that children are properly restrained. Buckle Up for Life programs are currently in place in Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and San Antonio, with Philadelphia joining fellow new sites in Las Vegas, Houston, and Orange County, CA. In one pilot city, the program nearly tripled the number of children properly buckled up among the families who participated.

Buckle Up for Life is the latest in a series of CHOP-Toyota research collaborations to keep children safer in motor vehicles. Other current projects include:
- Toyota is a founding member of CHOP’s Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), a National Science Foundation-funded research center that focuses exclusively on making children and adolescents safer. CChIPS brings together researchers from CHOP and The Ohio State University to work side by side with industry members to conduct translational research that is practical to industry.
- Toyota CSRC researchers are collaborating with researchers from CChIPS, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and SAFER, a vehicle safety research center in Sweden, to conduct a study of a youth ice hockey team to better understand the mechanisms of concussion.
- Through the CSRC, Toyota and CHOP have collaborated on a multi-year project directed toward establishing a new national database to track detailed information on motor vehicle crash injuries sustained by child passengers.

Pictured are members of CHOP and Toyota who have collaborated on the above projects: Mari Allison, Bioengineering PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and co-op at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at CHOP; Brian Lyons, Communications Manager, Toyota Motor Sales; Tina Sayer, PhD, Toyota CSRC principal investigator; Suzanne Hill, director of Advocacy and Outreach at CIRP; Allison Curry, PhD, director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at CIRP; and Aditya Belwadi, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at CIRP.