Preventing child deaths from excess heat: Legislation to require cars to have alert system to check rear seat
Legislation recently introduced in Congress would mandate the U.S. DOT to issue a rule requiring new vehicles to have visual and auditory alerts to the driver to check a carês back seat before exiting the vehicle. DOT would have to issue the rule within two years.
The legislation introduced in both houses of Congress, the Hot Cars Act of 2017, is intended to prevent excess heat deaths of children accidentally left in the back seat. The bill was introduced a few days after two infant boys died after being left in an overheated rear seat in Phoenix, AZ. Thirty children have died this year after being left in overheated back seats.
A childês body can overheat much faster than an adultês, and the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 125 degrees F. within minutes, according to KidsAndCars.org.
Several GMC models already have a rear seat alert system, and General Motors plans to make it available across all its brands later this year. Nissan plans to make its Rear Door Alert system available on the 2018 Pathfinder. Aftermarket kits are also available.Download Bulletin PDF