NHTSA meets to discuss hyperthermia

July 28, 2011 12:00 AM

There are many vehicle safety systems that deal with the mechanical aspects of automobiles, but sometimes a driver has to be protected from their own forgetfulness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently met with top automakers to discuss ways in which safety systems could cut down on the number of children left in hot vehicles during the summer.

Despite efforts by advocacy groups, the number of deaths caused by hyperthermia has remained steady, according to The New York Times. It seems as if every summer there are more tragic tales of parents running to do an errand and forgetting their child is in the backseat. The car can heat up quickly and cause heat stroke or even death.

The NHTSA's panel represents a positive step forward for advocacy groups. The government watchdog discussed the possibility of adding some type of motion sensor to vehicles that would trigger warning lights or bells if someone was left in the car, helping parents remember that they have a child in the backseat.

"I felt that perhaps we've turned a corner," Jan Null, who has studied the effects of heat in cars for San Diego State University, told the news source. "The NHTSA's involvement creates a lot of momentum for efforts to raise awareness and educate parents."

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