Fort Worth

‘Rear Seat Reminders' Combat Hot Car Deaths

GMC is addressing the problem with new technology sensors

In 2016, 24 children died after being left inside of a vehicle. The summer months have proven to be deadly reminder for parents and care-takers to pay close attention to children when they are placed in the backseat.

There was an increase in heatstroke related deaths involving children in hot cars in the 1990’s. By 1985, all states had a law mandating children to be placed in car seats. It was not until the 1990’s that more drivers began to put that law into practice.

Since then, there have been more than 600 hot car related child deaths.

Heatstroke shuts down vital organs in the body and can quickly turn fatal. A child’s body temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than adults.

GMC is the first automotive company addressing the problem with new technology sensors that are built in to the 2017 Acadia.

Once you open and close the rear door placing your child in the back seat, a sensor inside of the car detects that the child is inside. When you turn on the vehicle, drive off, arrive to your destination, and turn the car off, an alert appears on the dashboard. The message “rear seat reminder” flashes on the dashboard along with an alarm.

With temperatures in the triple digits, the new sensor can be life-saving tool.

“It seems like you see these tragic stories where people are distracted and they are out of their routine,” said Waymon Patterson, a sales consultant with Hiley Buick GMC dealership in Fort Worth, which recently received the new 2017 Acadias.

“The new sensor will actually alert you to look in the back seat when you get out of your car. So very revolutionary. First vehicle I know to have something like this,” said Patterson.

Other companies are also designing their products with helpful technology.

Later this month, Walmart will release a new car seat designed by Evenflo with “SensorSafe Technology.”

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