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Hot car deaths on the rise nationwide as heat wave continues

Posted at 5:57 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 07:47:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A growing number of tragedies continue nationwide as extreme heat wave lingers. At least ten children have died this year from being left in a hot car. One of the deaths happened in Memphis, Tennessee.

The auto industry is working as quickly as possible to find and install life-saving solutions into new vehicles.

One solution is called a rear-seat reminder alert, which would notify the driver to check the backseat if a rear door has been opened and closed. A number of car makers have already added the feature. By 2025, the entire auto industry has a "voluntary agreement" in place to have the alerts in all cars.

Some experts worry the technology may be confusing or ignored if the car only sets off a series of beeps. But more is being done nationwide as hot car deaths have been addressed in the new infrastructure law. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be setting a safety standard within the next two years for carmakers to follow.

The nonprofit Kids and Car Safety is pushing for technology that detects even the smallest movements and alerts drivers through their phones.

"They detect micro movements, so a good example of what a micro movement is, it's like your heart beating or you know the blood flowing through your body or your lungs filling with air," said director Amber Rollins. "They can detect those tiny little movements inside of our body, and they can actually tell the difference between a child and an adult and even a pet."