According to noheatstroke.org, approximately 24 children died last year, as a result of a heatstroke, because they were left in a car. The website states that so far in 2016, there have been 16 child deaths, due to this issue. Sadly, such cases pop up annually in the summer months, and all through out the year in states with a warmer climate. The good news is, auto manufacturer GMC has stepped up to the plate, and come up with a new feature to assist with this situation.
GMC is calling this feature, the Rear Seat Reminder, and it will be added to the 2017 Acadia. The function is aimed to give the driver a heads up, if someone is left in the back seats, accidentally. The alert will go off, under specific circumstances.
Five rings will go off in the car, and a warning sign will come up if the vehicle’s back doors open and close within 10 minutes of the SUV starting. Five chimes will also go off if doors open while the Acadia is running. The new feature will not sense people (or really anything) in the back seat, like it does in the front seat, to set off the airbag. Still, these warning signals will go off, regardless of the temperature inside or outside the car; as child deaths that result in being left behind in a car not only happen when the weather is hot, but they have also occurred during extreme cold weather.
MSN encourages that drivers need to be in the know, that temperatures can rapidly rise to hazardous levels, despite the fact that the car may seem cool at the time. On a sad note, a huge number of children of left in vehicles intentionally at times. This is because parents, grandparents, caretakers, and even babysitters often leave a child in the car to ‘quickly’ run some sort of errand, thinking there will not be an issue. At times, children will also get trapped in the trunk or inside cars, while playing. Unfortunately, with these types of instances, the new feature on the Acadia’s will unlikely be any assistance.
This is a hugely positive initiative for GMC to take, and while it may help tremendously, education is also needed about leaving kids behind in cars, and the dangers of rising heat temperatures in vehicles. There is also a possibility that after time, drivers will develop a fatigue to the warning signals, and simply ignore them. Still, if this new GMC feature saves even one child, then it will be all worth it in the end.