Nationally, the last few weeks have been riddled with tragic, yet preventable hot car tragedies with 10 children dying in a matter of 20 days. After decades of public education, the number of children dying in hot cars has gotten worse, not better.
Already this year, 35 children have died in hot cars. Last year was the worst year in history with a total of 53 children that died in hot cars nationwide. Additionally, KidsAndCars.org documented 62 pets that died in hot cars nationwide.
Education and public awareness are not enough. Children will continue to die in hot cars until technological solutions that can sense the presence of a child are standard in all vehicles. The great news is that these type of systems are readily available.
The Hot Cars Act is a federal bill calling for systems that can detect the presence of a child in vehicles to prevent hot car injury and death. Automakers like Kia and Hyundai have systems that can detect the presence of a child in the back seat and alert the driver and bystanders if they are left behind or get into a vehicle and become trapped.
“Why are we allowing children to die in hot cars when effective and readily available technology exists to protect them? These children cannot help themselves, but technology can,” said Amber Rollins, director of KidsAndCars.org.
KidsAndCars.org is calling on the public to take action by writing or calling their members of Congress and asking them to help end hot car tragedies. The Hot Cars Act has been supported by leading public health, safety, consumer and law enforcement organizations and leading animal care and welfare organizations.
Technology must be standard in all vehicles because nobody believes a hot car tragedy is going to happen to them or their family, until it does.