As per the National Safety Council, more than 30 kids die annually due to being left behind in an overly-hot car, which sparks a discussion when the weather gets warmer on how this tragedy can be avoided.
It seems that auto manufacturer, Nissan, may have a viable solution as the car company recently announced plans to create back door alerts in eight models by 2019, where this system would be standard on the vehicles.
CNN reported that the technology would alert drivers as to whether the back door had been opened prior to leaving, but not opened after the vehicle’s ignition has been turned off and parked. The notification would offer an initial display via the instrumental panel along with a number of discrete ‘honks’ by the car. Nissan has a goal to have rear door alerts to be placed in all of their four-door SUVs, sedans, as well as trucks by 2022.
The technology was developed by mechanical engineers and mothers, Marlene Mendoza and Elsa Foley, who felt they kept reading about these stories where parents left their children in cars accidentally and became concerned. They wanted to do something about it, so, the two began brainstorming on a concept in 2014; however, the alert idea came during at time when Mendoza was expecting and left a lasagna in her backseat overnight.
Nissan isn’t the only company who has set a priority reminder around backseat passengers. GMC has this in most models as of 2018, and Hyundai has also created a system set to detect backseat movement.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHRSA) launched a program this past July encouraging people to make and share short videos to increase awareness around heatstroke. The group encourages caregivers and parents to look at that back seat before locking and leaving the car, and to keep car keys away from little children to avoid them getting locked into a vehicle by accident. The organization also encourages the public to take action if they notice that a child has been left behind in a car.
The temperature within a vehicle can increase by 20 degrees over 10 minutes, which can be a dangerous situation for a child. In addition, a little one’s body can overheat quicker than that of an adult, and will begin to shut down at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
As per the U.S. Department of Transportation, so far this year, 26 kids have passed away from heat stroke when being left behind and locked in a car.