Toyota Motor North America is helping to educate about child passenger safety via a video featuring one of its sponsored athletes.
Three-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols is teaming up with Buckle Up for Life -- a national child passenger safety program created by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center -- to promote the importance of this issue.
In the two-minute video released to coincide with National Passenger Safety Week (Jan. 22-28), Nichols discusses how child passenger safety was always a priority for her – yet it grew to an even greater, intensely personal level of importance when she became a parent.
Nichols shares her personal story in the video, which was shot at her home. It includes scenes of her playing with her 3-year-old son, Gunnar, as well as the two of them driving through their Reno, Nevada, neighborhood in her Toyota Sienna.
She says a catalyst for doing the video was her realization that only one in four car seats is installed correctly.
“I was shocked when I heard that statistic,” Nichols says in a release. “But perhaps I should not have been because I am the first to acknowledge car seat installation can be difficult. So, it’s important for people to know there is a program available – Buckle Up for Life – that can help ensure your car seat is installed correctly.”
Through community events and online resources, Buckle Up for Life provides parents and caregivers the latest information to help find the right seats for their children, and how to install and use those seats properly. They also provide in-person assistance through their local partner agencies.
The Buckle Up for Life program aims to ensure families have the resources and education they need to keep their children safe on the road, says Keith Jones, senior manager, strategic partnerships, mobility, Toyota Motor North America.
“Alana’s support and her heartfelt video message will reach thousands of families,” Jones says in a release. “And, at Toyota, we will share her message with team members, customers and other Toyota partners throughout the nation.”
An avid snowboarder throughout her youth, in 2000 at age 17, Nichols injured her back while attempting a backflip on her snowboard. The injury caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down, but she quickly transitioned to adaptive sports.
She is a five-time Paralympian, and six-time medalist. Nichols is the first U.S. female Olympian to win gold medals at both the summer (wheelchair basketball) and winter (alpine ski racing) Paralympic Games.