Ask Katrina: Sometimes, Finding Information for Using CRs in Pickup Trucks Is Half the Battle

In this regular column, SRN shares vehicle-related information from Katrina Rose, SRN collaborator and vehicle liaison for the LATCH Manual. For the March/April 2023 issue, Katrina shared answers to some questions posed by technicians regarding pickup trucks.

Because pickup trucks are very popular while at the same time often challenging for CR use, SRN focuses special attention on understanding them so we can provide helpful guidance in our publications, such as the LATCH Manual.

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Tips for Reading Vehicle Manuals

Certain aspects of vehicle manuals differentiate them from CR manuals. For instance, vehicle manuals must cover topics ranging far beyond CPS, and CPS-related topics appear in multiple sections of a vehicle manual. Therefore, when reading vehicle manuals—or instructing others to read them—it helps to understand the following: Read More from “Tips for Reading Vehicle Manuals”

Start Brainstorming: Ideas to Improve Tether Use in Your Community

Every community could do more to promote the use of tethers.  The following observations are offered as suggestions to help CPSTs get the brainstorming started.

Light BulbConsistently include tethering when describing the transition from rear to forward facing.  I appreciated the National Transportation Safety Board’s CPS Week blog post, which said “When children outgrow a rear-facing car seat, they should use a forward-facing car seat with an internal harness and tether.” This promotes the tether as part of the transition process and keeps it from being linked only to the LATCH system.  On the word “tether,” the NTSB even provided a hot link to the SKBU tether report.

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Safe Kids Finds Tether Usage Still Low

A recent study found only 36% of FF CRs are tethered—the same low rate as in 2012.

A new study from Safe Kids Buckle Up (SKBU), Car Seat Tethers:  Essential for Safety But Consistently Overlooked, revisits the topic of tether use and misuse, comparing information from recent checkup forms to similar studies from past years.  The results show that not only does tether use continue to be very low but also shows no improvement over the past several years.  Also, among tethers that are used, misuse rates continue to be high.

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Retrofitting Tether Anchors

Still a Benefit to Child Safety

In preparation for the 2017 LATCH Manual*,  SRN reviewed and updated the status of various aspects of retrofitting vehicles with tether anchors (TAs), leading to the following update report.

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Tossing the Gauntlet: An Open Letter to CR Manufacturers to Improve Tether Advice

At Safe Ride News Publications, our team has been busy researching, editing, and compiling the 2013 LATCH Manual.  We are eager for its January publication, which will include many updates and new information.

As part of this process, I’ve spent much of the last few weeks reading CR owner’s manuals (a process that has been aided immeasurably by the SBS USA Child Restraint Manufacturer’s Instructions DVD).  As always, this is fascinating reading and never ceases to turn up new insights about specific models.

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Toyota’s Tether Anchor Installation Program Through SBS USA

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A (SBS USA) collaborates with Toyota/Lexus on a program to provide tether anchor kits and installation for families with pre-2001 Toyota and Lexus models. Dealers throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska (not Hawaii) honor certificates from SBS USA for the tether kit and installation. The certificates can be obtained through SBS USA by sending in an application that includes the VIN and information about the children to be transported, along with a voluntary donation of $5 or more per anchor. Highway safety or child safety organizations can have a supply of certificates to fill out with families in need at checkup events. The donations help defray administrative costs of SBS USA. Information about the program and applications are available on the SBS USA website in English and Spanish.

Toyota and Lexus Tether Installation Program

Programa de Instalación de Correas  de Sujeción (Tether) de Toyota & Lexus