NHTSA debating hyperthermia issue

October 20, 2011 12:00 AM

Last year, a record 49 children died due to hyperthermia from being locked in a car, according to data from Ward's Auto. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking into technology that will hopefully reduce this number.

The group has not revealed what safety systems they are researching, but most experts agree something needs to be done. Some have argued that systems are unnecessary, and parents simply have to be better educated about the danger. Others, such as KidsandCars.org founder Janette Ferrell, believe that technology could be the key to reducing or eliminating these deaths.

"Exposure of young children, particularly in hot weather, leads to hyperthermia that can result in death or severe injuries," Fennell testified before a House committee earlier this year. "Such inadvertent deaths can be avoided by equipping vehicles with sensors to detect the presence of the child and sound a warning at the time the driver locks the vehicle with the child inside."

Safety systems are helping to reduce accidents and incidents such as this, but drivers also have to take their own precautions to avoid potentially hazardous information. For example, regular brake service and auto maintenance can ensure that your vehicle is in working order and reduces the likelihood of a crash out on the road.

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