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Hot car deaths: What you can do & what automakers have in the works to keep it from happening

On average, 39 children die in a hot car each year.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s not a list anyone wants to be on. At the top of 2022, Hot Car Deaths in the Nation is a 1-year-old from Mebane. It happened on July 1, 2022.

According to the advocacy group Kids and Cars, on average 39 children die every year in a hot car. Last year, 23 children died, three here in North Carolina. Most of the circumstances included being left by a family member.

A lot of folks might immediately think all the family members were neglectful, but the research the Kids and Cars group did, shows that anyone could forget a kid in a car.

When President Biden signed the Infrastructure law, it required automakers to install back seat alert systems in all new vehicles. This is good news, but the law gives the Department of Transportation two years to implement the new rule. So, you're looking at least 2025.

Automakers are already working on systems from highly sensitive in-car radar systems that can monitor for children left in the car, and alert the driver to take action, to systems that use the back door to trigger alarms.

A CBS News reporter got a look.

“You power off the vehicle and you see it pop up, and you hear the audible chime. That's the whole goal to get the driver's attention as they're getting out of the vehicle to take one last look at the back seat,” said Shad Balch of Chevy.

Again, that kind of technology may not be standard until 2025 and that's just in new cars. So, let's talk about low-tech ways any of us can do. You're sitting here in the front, put your purse, your wallet, and one shoe
in the back. Chances are, you won't get very far without the item and you won't be leaving a child in the backseat either.


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