July is here, and the heat came with it. After record-breaking high temperatures in June, July is set to be another hot month this season.
While most people in the South are used to the summer heat, it is still important to remember to be safe when the heat is so unrelenting.
Many groups are setting out to remind parents and pet owners that hot vehicles can be a matter of life or death this time of year.
According to KidsandCars.org, 52 children died in 2018 due to being left in a hot car. The website also states that around 17 children have died this year because they were trapped in a hot car.
Lawmakers from both parties have introduced legislation to help curb the rising number of fatalities.
Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) introduced the Hot Cars Act (H.R. 3593), which seeks to prevent heatstroke deaths by mandating that a system be put in new vehicles that detect and alerts to the presence of a child unknowingly left in a vehicle.
Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said, “Unfortunately we have learned that public education alone cannot overcome the serious risk of children being unknowingly left in hot cars. That is why it is so critical that vehicles be equipped with a detection and alert system so that drivers and caregivers are reminded of the presence of a child in the back seat, as the Hot Cars Act would require. Cars already remind us headlights have been left on, keys were left in the ignition and doors are ajar.”
Chase touted the legislation and expressed her gratitude to the Representatives who introduced it.
“This vital system will save the lives of some of our most vulnerable passengers,” she said.
“We commend Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Peter King (R-NY) for their leadership and urge Congress to advance this legislation as we are in the midst of the hottest months of the year.”
While this legislation would help newer cars prevent hot car deaths in the future, there are still many who would be without the technology. As Chase stated, public education on the issue cannot solely prevent human error.
A new invention seeks to use smartphone technology to help parents and pet owners prevent hot car deaths.
Elepho is a company that prides itself on inventing “gadgets” to make parents lives easier. The company recently introduced the eClip, which is a device that seeks to put an end to hot car fatalities.
Elepho CEO Michael Braunold said “eClip is a device that attaches easily inside the car and connects to a cell phone via Bluetooth.
It alerts parents if they walk more than 25 feet from their car without removing their child. It also alerts parents if the temperature in the backseat becomes too hot or too cold for baby’s comfort and safety.”
Braunold expressed that the eClip was not only effective but also user-friendly. He stated that set up is as easy as logging on to your smartphone’s app store. “eClip automatically links to a dedicated app which runs on a standard smartphone and the app can be easily downloaded from the Apple or Google (Play) stores,” Braunold said.
“To get going, you turn on the eClip and then it automatically communicates with the app on your phone. No wires or complicated set-up procedures are involved.”
The eClip officially hit the market this year and there are over 2000 already in use. The device can be purchased on Amazon, and on Elepho.com.
Braunold expressed similar concerns that other advocates have stated when it comes to hot car fatalities.
He believes that mere education is not enough and that parents should take every precaution they can to ensure that a ride in the car doesn’t turn deadly for children and pets.
“We all lead busy lives and are easily distracted while in the car and particularly when we exit the car if on the phone or on social media,” he said. “In these circumstances, a sleeping baby in the rear seat can easily be forgotten.”
For more information on the eClip log on to Elepho.com. For facts and statistics about hot car deaths, log on to KidsandCars.org.