Summer is officially here and joining it are the hot temperatures that can lead to injury and, in the most unfortunate cases, death. Each year an average of 38 children die from heat-related deaths after being left inside a vehicle. And while no parent thinks that they will be the one to make this heartbreaking mistake, accidents do happen.
To help combat this unfortunate loss of life, GMC has created a “Rear Seat Reminder” and is installing it as a standard feature in the family-friendly 2017 Acadia SUV. According to GM global safety strategy engineer Tricia Morrow, “It was designed in response to the tremendous amount of heatstroke deaths that we see every year.”
Additional models will continue to include this feature as they are released.
While the rear seat reminder cannot actually detect children sitting in the backseat, it does monitor the vehicle’s rear doors, activating when they are opened and closed within ten minutes of the vehicle starting (or anytime they are opened and closed while it is running). After activation, the system will sound an alert, displaying the message “Rear Seat Reminder, look in Rear Seat” the next time the car is turned off.
GMC hopes that this alert will ensure that busy, stressed and tired parents will be reminded to look in the back seat before getting out of the car without their sleeping child, as most accidents happen to exhausted parents.
When asked about GMC’s new feature Janette Fennell, founder of KidsAndCars.org, said, “If it’s just one little beep or something that can bring them out of their fog to remind them, that’s a good thing.”
An organization that works to raise awareness about non-traffic incidents that have serious health and safety issues, KidsandCars.org has a few simple tips that can help prevent parents from accidentally leaving their little ones in the back seat.
The organization recommends setting your purse, cell phone or other items in the back seat of the vehicle with your children, as you will need them when you get out of your car.
Here at PermaPlate we believe GMC’s rear seat reminder is a great addition and hope to see it added into more vehicles soon. To learn more about our automotive protection programs, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.