Can This Device Save Children from Hot Car Deaths?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 12-Jul-2017

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 a requirement.

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.

The 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.

Categories: Child Safety
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