Automakers are making sure kids are not left in hot vehicles

Preventing deaths of kids in hot cars with alert system

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - By the year 2025, nearly all new vehicles sold in the United States will come with a new electronic alert system. It’s designed to remind people not to leave their children in the backseat.

Across the country, 38 children have died in hot vehicles in 2019. That has automakers joining the effort to protect their youngest passengers.

Mom Melissa Ury asked a question you may have wondered yourself, but each year, dozens of children die after being left in hot vehicles.

"How can you not know your kid is in the backseat of your car?" she said.

That's why automakers are adding electronic alert systems.

Josh Puckett works for Van Matre Buick, GMC, Cadillac in Cape Girardeau. He showed how the reminder system works.

“So one of the new features on our new GMC models, most 2019 and the new 2020′s coming out is the rear seat reminder," he said. “If you open the door within 10 minutes of starting the vehicle or you open it while the vehicle is running it activates the reminder."

Puckett said the driver then gets this message on the dashboard screen, “Rear seat reminder, look in rear seat."

"It will also chime 5 times to let you know to check in the back to let you know the coast is clear, " he said.

Kalesia Walker said she likes the idea of automakers making new ways to help people think before walking away from their cars.

"It's a great tool that people should take advantage of because life does get very busy and very hectic and sometimes you can forget," she said.

Federal lawmakers are also considering legislation that would require auto makers to install those back-seat alert systems.

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