An 11-year-old Texas boy determined to prevent hot car deaths has created
“Oasis”, a device that senses when children have been left
behind in vehicles. Oasis attaches to the headrest, and alerts parents
and the police when children have been left alone in hot vehicles. The
device also blows cold air on children until help arrives.
Vehicles need a device like Oasis. According to the safety organization
Kids and Cars, 37 children die each year after being left alone in vehicles
during hot weather. Parents are not always responsible for hot car deaths.
Kids and Cars claims that in 28 percent of cases, children sneak into
vehicles without the knowledge of their parents or other adults. Last
month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a
warning to parents after a child climbed into a car and died of a heat stroke.
Should Oasis Become a Mandatory Safety Feature?
Auto manufacturers could create technologies that warn parents when children
have been left alone in hot vehicles. If an 11-year-old boy can create
such a device, why can’t manufacturers with billions of dollars
and top-notch R&D teams pull off the same feat? According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vehicle interiors can reach
more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit, yet most models have no mechanism in
place to alert parents. The Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone
in Rear Seats Act of 2017 (HOT CARS Act of 2017) aims to make this feature
Until auto manufacturers make these warning systems a standard feature,
parents can take the initiative to protect their children. Parents and
bystanders might be able to prevent hot car deaths by:
Looking before locking: Parents can protect their children by making it a habit to check their
vehicles before walking away.
Contacting the authorities: Bystanders should contact the police if they witness children left alone
in hot cars.
Leaving vehicles locked: To keep children from entering, parents and other adults should leave
their vehicles locked at all times. In addition, keys should be kept out of reach.
Washington DC personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC wish everyone a happy and safe summer. Please
continue following our blog for future updates on personal safety topics.