New back seat alert systems will help prevent hot car deaths

Rear seat alarm and motion detector systems to prevent hot car deaths
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 8:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2022 at 8:28 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - New federal regulations will soon require all new cars to be equipped with back seat alert systems designed to prevent hot car deaths.

Most new General Motors vehicles now have back seat alarm systems that activate after you open and close the back door and alert you when you arrive at your destination.

“When you shut the car off you’re going to get a warning, along with a chime, that there may be something in the back seat,” Terry Kelly, a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet salesperson, said.

“Whether it be your lunch or more importantly a child, this alert makes sure you turn around and look, take it out and everybody is good,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sales Manager Barbi Jordan said.

Jordan hopes the new alert system can help prevent tragedies, like the one in Tallahassee this past week.

An 11-month-old infant was found dead after being left in a car outside a Tallahassee workplace on July 19.

The boy is at least the 11th child to die in a hot car so far this year, according to a website run by a San Jose State University lecturer that tracks hot car deaths.

“Disbelief,” Jordan said. “I don’t know how things like that can happen today, but I am proud of the safety features that GM offers that help people to not allow things like this to happen.”

Some of Hyundai’s newest SUVs have ultrasonic sensors that detect movement in the backseat when you turn off the car.

“It alerts you with honking of the horn and flashing of the lights. If you still don’t have a response and it detects movement of pets or children, you’ll also get a notification through your Hyundai Blue Link App,” Werner Salesman Dusty Rudd said.

Rudd knows firsthand how critical this feature could be.

“As a father of two children myself, anything we can do to protect children and pets, I’m all for that,” Rudd said.

The new law requiring all automakers to add the back seat alert system to new cars will take effect in two years.

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