With the extremely high temperatures in New Mexico, the thought of accidentally leaving a child in a vehicle is obviously quite concerning for parents. While it seems unthinkable, these tragedies do happen to otherwise good people who experience a single, tragic moment of inattention.
The Hot Cars Act of 2019 addressed the issue in an attempt to reduce the number of heatstroke victims. The bill calls for the Department of Transportation to issue a ruling on technology that can detect a child or animal in the backseat after a vehicle has been shut off. Here’s what the legislation calls for and how existing alert technology works.
Department of Transportation Requirements for Alert Systems
The bill has two requirements that must be met when it comes to vehicle alerts. Both visual and auditory cues must be provided both inside and outside the vehicle. Haptic warnings must also occur, which are vibrations that provide tactile cues. Additionally, these alerts must be provided after the vehicle is turned off and sensors detect an occupant in the back seat.
How Current Alert Systems Work
Some auto manufacturers have developed rear-occupant alerts as an option for new car buyers. Hyundai uses a system that triggers an alert when the back door is opened before traveling somewhere. In this case, the driver will be reminded to look in the back seat upon turning off the vehicle. If the driver fails to do so, they’ll receive a second alert that beeps the horn and flashes the lights after the driver gets out of the vehicle. An alert will also be sent to the driver’s mobile device informing them of the back seat passenger.
What You Can Do to Prevent a Tragedy
If your car is without alert technology, establish a habit of park, look, and lock before leaving your vehicle if you frequently travel with children. Some parents also leave an item of importance in the backseat, such as a purse or mobile device, which can trigger them to look before leaving the vehicle.
Never leave your child in a car unattended, even momentarily. Even with the windows down and the AC on, a child can become overheated quickly depending on the conditions. Also, be sure to always lock your vehicle, as this will prevent other children from getting inside after you’re gone.
Astro Auto Glass understands that being a parent can be stressful. In addition to providing important information on vehicle safety, you can also trust in our team to make fast, efficient, and reliable auto glass repairs in the event your windshield is chipped or cracked. We also back our windshield replacement with a comprehensive warranty to ensure your satisfaction.