Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on September 15th, 2016,
by Zane Cagle

Posted on September 15th, 2016 by Zane Cagle

Major Bill Announced to Address Hot Car Deaths of Children

file0001969012862Yesterday, the non-profit KidsandCars announced a major bill they are supporting that is aimed at saving kids’ lives. The non-profit says the bill is called Hot Cars Act of 2016″ and it stands for “helping overcome trauma for children alone in rear seats act”.

Ohio U.S Representative Tim Ryan and New York Peter King and Jan Schakowski of Illinois introduced  the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act today. The bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring all new passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert system. An alert could be auditory and/or visual

So far in 2016, 29 children have died so far this year due to heat-stroke from being left or climbing into a hot vehicle.  In many instances, the child is inadvertently left by a parent or caregiver and in about 30 percent get into cars by themselves. While summer is almost technically over, many parts of the US still have temperatures that would cause death to a child left in a car.

KidsAndCars.org

Kids and Cars is a non-profit organization focused on keeping kids safe in and around vehicles. According to Kids and Cars, there is technology to help prevent children from being left in the car thus avoiding many heatstroke deaths.

Kids and Cars lobbied successfully to have an internal trunk release as standard equipment on cars after 2001.

“You can’t buy a vehicle today that doesn’t remind you to turn your headlights off, close the door, check your oil, all these things, ” said Amber Andreasen of Kids and Cars, “There’s dozens of reminders in vehicles. Why not one for a child?”

Hot Car Deaths Still a Threat in the Fall Around the US

Just Monday, we wrote an article on the rising numbers of hot car deaths and the misunderstanding that these tragic deaths could only occur when there is “bad parenting” or bad supervision.  When you learn about the parents of the children who had died tragically in these heatstroke hot car deaths, it is sobering because you realize that it happens to the best of parents.

There are many tragic stories of individual children that have been lost, but I encourage you to visit KidsAndCars.org for their resources and for their practice, helpful reminders to keep your child safety.  Truly, it is a collection of real-life, practice reminders and I know these reminders and strategies have saved many children from various tragic deaths and injuries in and around vehicles.

Other ways children are seriously hurt and injured in and around cars include:

Backovers

Every year 1000’s of children are killed or seriously injured when a driver backing up doesn’t see them.  A backover typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space.

Frontovers

Frontover incidents occur when a drive moving forward very slowly didn’t see the child. These paxil incidents mostly take place in driveways and parking lots

Heatstroke

On average 39 children needlessly die every  year in this traumatic way.  Children become trapped in a car or their parent and or caregiver inadvertently leaves them in the car and temperatures raise drastically in spring, summer and winter months.

Power Windows

Power windows have maimed and strangled thousands of children. The anti-pinch or auto-reverse feature should be standard equipment on all power windows.  It takes just 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure an infant while power windows can exert an upward force of 30-80 pounds of force.

These are just some of the hazards for small children in and around vehicles. Always keep your vehicles locked even if they are in the garage.  As a parent, you know that your child can easily get hurt in a matter of seconds.  Children can easily climb into a vehicle and lock it and then not know how to get out.  Most of the heatstroke deaths that make the news involve a parent and or caregiver inadvertently leaving a child in a hot car. It is always horrible and a parent’s worst nightmare.

Children Should Never be Left Unattended in or Near a Motor Vehicle

Yeah, as a kid I may have played in my parent’s car and luckily never got hurt.  Correct, as a kid we never wore seatbelts, but then we didn’t drive on much but country roads.  I didn’t wear a bicycle helmet as a kid either.

Just because thugs were done a certain way when you were a kid,  doesn’t always make them good ideas!

Many love to reminisce about their childhood and how they never had to wear seatbelts, or bike helmets, but then they do remember that one time that they did get hurt or almost died. Almost all of us remember a friend or playmate that was hurt.  As a kid, we never wore seatbelts and once, I ended up in the front window of our giant car when my mom had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting a train.  A seat belt would have been a great idea!!!  Just because you grew up differently and without safety equipment, it doesn’t make it a good idea for your kids to do so.  We instituted the seat belts from day one with our children, same with bike helmets and they learned early they cannot even get into a car until mom hits the unlock button.

We all want “better” for our children, thus we fully support the new Hot Cars Act of 2016 and hope that you will too!

Still, motor vehicle crashes remain the most common way a child is seriously injured or killed. However, parents and caregivers can use KidsandCars.org helpful reminders and strategies to reduce the chances of their child being injured in and around vehicles.

Call your local legislature to let them know you support the Hot Cars Act of 2016.