This past summer, 43 kids died of vehicular heatstroke1, the same as in 2017 (the number in 2018 was 58, the deadliest year ever) according to kidsandcars.org. This issue is becoming a growing concern and prevention efforts are increasing, advocates are getting vocal about pushing Congress to pass the Hot Car Act. In addition, auto manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware that, they too could contribute to make vehicles safer during the warmest months of the year.
Here is a list of car technologies and devices that will help prevent more hot car related deaths and will hopefully be available across all brands of automobile in the near future. We have also included a few items that may prove useful when it comes to child safety in vehicles.
- General Motor Rear Seat Reminder System: https://bit.ly/2yyaLRB
The Rear Seat Reminder does not actually detect objects in the rear seat, but it works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. If either rear door is opened and closed within ten minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is running, the feature is intended to activate.
Once the vehicle is switched off, the vehicle is designed to sound five audible chimes and display a visual message within the instrument cluster’s Driver Information Center, which can help remind the driver to look at the rear seat before departing.
- Nissan Rear Door Alert System: https://bit.ly/2mxNlsV
Rear Door Alert activates anytime the doors to the 2nd row are opened and closed prior to a trip since it knows that something or someone is in the back seat and wasn’t reopened until after a drive is completed by the vehicle being put into park and the ignition being turned off.
First, you’ll see a visual warning to check the back seat for anything you may have brought along for the trip. If the system doesn’t sense that you opened either rear door after your trip is completed, then you’ll hear audible honking to remind you that something or someone was left in the back seat as you walk away from your Nissan.
- Hyundai, Rear Occupant Alert System: https://bit.ly/2GGAYSJ
Hyundai currently offers two types of ROA systems to help prevent tragedies from occurring. The ROA door-logic system detects if a rear door was opened or closed before the car was started, then reminds the driver to check the rear seat with a message on the center cluster when exiting the vehicle. The Ultrasonic ROA has the door-logic technology and an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets in the second-row seats. If the system detects movement in the second-row seats after the driver leaves the vehicle and locks the doors, it will honk the horn and send an alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system (if equipped with Blue Link and the Blue Link service is active).
- Kids and Cars app: https://bit.ly/2kX9osQ
The Kars 4 Kids Safety app is designed to alert drivers when they leave their cars to remember there is a baby in the backseat. So, you can drive with peace of mind knowing we’ve got your back.
After a one-time easy setup, the app syncs with your vehicle’s Bluetooth to sound an alert when you leave the car, reminding you to take your child along. Personalize the app with a picture of your child and a customized alert ringtone.
- Eclip baby reminder https://bit.ly/2kPxBB8
This simple device clips to your baby’s car seat, monitors the temperature and reminds you if you happen to walk away without your baby. It continually reminds you that your baby or young child is in the car; helps prevent you accidentally forgetting baby in hot car. In the event you leave your car without your baby, the alarm on Smartphone App will be activated within short distance of car.
- Evenflo: https://bit.ly/2yubwcJ
This one is not so much related to hot car death but will still prove useful! If unfastened while driving, the SensorSafe smart chest clip will communicate with a wireless receiver to alert the driver that the child is not safely harnessed.