Chevrolet today is highlighting the features in its 2015 Colorado midsize pickup and tenth-generation Impala midsize sedan which aim to make safe travelling easier for families. The first Colorado sales will commence shortly, while the Impala is returning for the 2015 model year with several small updates and changes.
The 2015 Colorado has a unique safety solution for a common problem in compact and midsize trucks. The patent-pending “rear seat cushion extension,” is designed to meet a requirement put in place by manufacturers of booster seats that says at least 80 percent of the booster seat must be supported by the vehicle seat. The headrest unclips from its usual position behind the passenger’s head and can be inserted into the front of the seat, supporting a part of the booster that might otherwise hang off.
“We know there’s a lot that goes into traveling with children, so we try to make the experience as safe and stress free as possible,” explained Julie Kleinert, GM’s global technical lead for child safety. “Being a mother and grandmother myself gives me a first-hand understanding of the concerns of parents, which is why we work to make it easier to keep kids safe in our vehicles.”
The GM Foundation recently released a study in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide that showed nine out of 10 parents allow their children to transition from a booster seat to seat belts before they reach the suggested height and weight of at least 57 inches and 80 pounds. GM is hoping that making vehicles which more easily accommodate child restraints will deter parents from moving them to seat belts too early.
In addition to the Colorado, the Impala too accommodates child safety restraints of all kinds in its backseat. GM says the Impala “provides plenty of room for carrying children safely and comfortably without encroaching on the space for the adults in the front seat,” and “offers easy to access child restraint LATCH anchorages for all three rear seating positions..”
Chevrolet also offers a shoulder belt comfort guide for smaller backseat vehicle occupants. The plastic guides attach to the rear seat or side trim of the vehicle and reposition the shoulder strap of the seat belt to better fit small adults and children. This improves the comfort of the shoulder belt and increases the chances that children passengers who do use safety belts will wear it correctly and not be tempted to put the shoulder belt behind their back or under their arm, which can cause serious injury in a crash.