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Nissan Rear Door Alert Aims to Prevent Child Heatstroke Deaths

"We want you to think for a moment" about what might have been left behind in the vehicle.

by on Aug.02, 2017

The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder will be the maker's first model equipped with the Rear Door Alert.

Just days after a bill was introduced in Congress in an effort to prevent the death of children left in overheated vehicles, Nissan has introduced a new system aimed at addressing the problem.

The Rear Door Alert system will make its debut on the 2018 Nissan Pathfinder SUV when it goes on sale next month and will roll out on other models, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday, “in the coming years.” Nissan becomes the second automaker to offer a system intended to advise caregivers to make sure they haven’t inadvertently left a child in their vehicle, General Motors now offering its own system on a number of different models.

Safety First!

“If you open a rear door, whether to put a child or a package in the rear seat, the vehicle will help alert you when you reach your destination that you may want to check the rear seat,” explained Marlene Mendoza, a Nissan engineer and mother of three who helped develop the Rear Door Alert. (more…)

As 2 More Kids Die, New Bill Aims to Prevent Vehicular Heatstroke Deaths

Nationwide heatwave threatens to bring more fatalities, experts warn.

by on Jul.31, 2017

Within hours, two Phoenix babies died after being left in hot cars over the weekend.

Days after two children died in Phoenix after being left in the back seat of hot cars, lawmakers and safety advocates say they’ll push to pass new legislation designed to prevent further deaths.

More than two dozen child and highway safety groups are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the HOT CARS – short for Senate Bill S.1666, the Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats Act – which has been introduced on Capitol Hill. It would require automakers to equip new vehicles with alarms designed to prevent parents and caregivers from inadvertently leaving children in the back seat of their vehicles.

Breaking News!

“A simple sensor could save the lives of dozens of children killed tragically in overheated cars each year, and our bill would ensure such technology is available in every car sold in the United States,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, along with Minnesota Sen. Al Franken. “It can take mere minutes on a hot day for a car to turn into a deathtrap for a small child.”


Alleged Murder Underscores Danger of Leaving Children in Hot Cars

Effort to develop technological solution so far stalled.

by on Jul.10, 2014

Justin Roy Harris has been charged with murder in the death of his son, Cooper, left in a hot car all day while his father was at work.

The death of a Georgia toddler left in the car by his father on a hot day has drawn intense media scrutiny in recent weeks, especially after 33-year-old Justin Ross Harris was charged with murder. But the case also underscores the fact that, whether intentional or not, dozens of children die each year when they are trapped, or left, in an overheated vehicle.

And it’s not just infants. A new lawsuit alleges a defect in some BMW products resulted in the death of a teen who was inadvertently stuck inside her brother’s car outside of her school. According to the non-profit coalition, a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle, on average, once every 10 days, making it the number one cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths.

Beyond the Headlines!

Both Congress and federal regulators have attempted to address the problem, but while several automakers have, at various times announced potential technological solutions, none has yet proved effective and gone into production. And aftermarket devices have proved unreliable enough to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a warning to parents two years ago.