Last Thursday, three federal lawmakers filed a bill that, if approved, would eliminate instances of children losing their lives after being left alone in hot vehicles. These types of situations happen far too often, and now people are taking steps to remedy the problem.
If the bill passes, regulators would issue rules within two years that would require new vehicles to be equipped with technology to alert parents when there is a child left unattended in a car. While advocacy groups are applauding the bill and a carmaker association is in line with the goals, the association also cautions that the solution may not be clear and simple, and that public education will be a key factor.
One of the sponsors of the bill, when discussing the new initiative, explained that 37 children die as a result of this type of situation each year. Many instances involved loving and caring parents who became distracted.
Some manufacturers are already taking actions to fix the issue with the announcement of the 2017 GMC Acadia, which has a warning tone and alert prompting drivers to check the rear seats. The prompt appears as a flashing message in the middle of the speedometer.
While some auto manufacturers are backing the awareness campaigns, there are still some questions regarding what technology would actually be effective and in what percentage of cases it would be helpful. Would it be enough to eliminate the issue completely or is it a solution for just some of the incidents? Whatever the case may be, any kind of help can be effective in preventing these deaths from occurring.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin, we are advocates of child safety and we applaud any efforts to help prevent these incidents from happening. We even published a child safety blog for tips to help keep kids safe in the heat of the Florida summer. When it is hot outside, make sure you keep an eye on your children.