Cooling Down Our Cars

June 19, 2017

On average, 37 children die annually from heat stroke after being trapped inside vehicles, and 711 children have died since 1998 for the same reason. This is an apparent issue that is commonly seen worldwide, and the government must take further legal action to prevent this from happening in the future.

When a child is trapped inside a vehicle, it takes only a couple of minutes for his or her core body temperature to rise up to 105 degrees. An adult could have been out of his or her car to run a quick errand, only to come back to find a lifeless body of a child. The point is, this problem can happen to anyone on a daily basis.

Although it may be impossible to rid of this problem eternally, there are solutions to prevent this issue from happening often. For instance, lawmakers are currently urging the auto industry to add hot car death prevention in its vehicles. Known as the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act, or the Hot Cars Act, the bill requires cars to be equipped with existing technology to alert drivers that a passenger remains in the back seat when a car is turned off. This bill would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set regulations for automakers, requiring cars to have a safety alert system with the use of technology. Automakers need to realize that along with the basic features of an automobile, drivers need reminders either through an alert system or sensor, in order to prevent these careless accidents from happening.

Along with the Hot Cars Act, parents and caregivers must be educated properly. They must be aware of how a child’s brain can fail minutes after being trapped inside a vehicle. Drivers must be reminded on a daily basis to always be aware if a child is left behind in a vehicle by checking the back seats every time they leave the car.

Another simple action people can take in order relieve this issue is to always lock their cars after leaving their vehicle. It is very easy for children to climb into a vehicle on a hot day and find themselves unable to get out. This problem has occurred worldwide, and the problem can be prevented simply by having drivers to always lock their cars before they leave.

Ever since the number of deaths caused by heat strokes has increased, people have started to implement the proper measures in order to prevent the issue from occurring again. Although a Hot Cars Act has recently been brought up, it is the duty of the driver to always be aware if a child has been left behind in the car.

<Selina Chong, Sunny Hills HG, 11th>

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