Chevy makes its Colorado ‘family friendly’

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Updated Sep 23, 2014

The new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab is helping parents keep their small children in their safety seats by combining the midsize pickup’s removable head rest with a rear passenger side seat cushion to better accommodate today’s larger child restraints and booster seats.

Often, especially in pickups, parents abandon booster seats due to space limitations, even though safety regulations require they be strapped in. 

As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, Safe Kids Worldwide in partnership with the GM Foundation released a study showing nine of 10 parents allow children to transition out of the booster seat to seat belts before they reach the recommended height and weight of 57 inches and at least 80 pounds.

Many child restraint manufacturers require at least 80 percent of the child restraint be supported by the vehicle seat. The Colorado’s patent-pending rear seat cushion extension helps satisfy that requirement.

“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,” says Julie Kleinert, global technical lead for child safety at General Motors. “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.”

Improving accommodation of booster seats and child restraints in the limited space available in the rear seat of a midsize extended cab pickup is just one approach Chevrolet is taking.

“GM conducts a variety of assessments on vehicles to make sure rear seats, safety belts and child restraint LATCH anchors accommodate a wide range of child restraints on the market,” Kleinert says. “Safety belts are developed to work for a range of occupant sizes, including adults, child restraints and children who are too large for child restraints.” 

Another feature that is available or that can be fitted at GM dealerships are shoulder belt comfort guides for backseat vehicle occupants on the driver and passenger sides. These plastic guides attach to the rear seat or side trim and help position the shoulder strap of the seat belt so that it fits more comfortably on smaller adults and children who have outgrown child restraints.