AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Today is officially the first day of summer and with temperatures starting to rise so does the number of hot car deaths. Earlier this month a new bill in Georgia was introduced that could help you remember your precious cargo. The Hot Cars Act of 2017 would require newer model cars to have equipment installed to remind drivers of a child left in the backseat when the car is turned off. Governor Nathan Deal has also joined in to raise awareness through his look again campaign that encourages parents to check your backseat when arriving at your destination. Renee McCabe of Safe Kids Augusta is a partner of the campaign and says most parents underestimate just how hot it could be for a child left unattended.
“Children and their body temperatures heat up three to five times more quickly than adults. There’s like a 20 degree difference within 10 minutes of a car, so even in 79 degrees you’re hitting well over the hundreds and it only takes 10 minutes for a child to die,” McCabe says.
Here in Georgia 13 children have died since 2010 from vehicular heatstroke. She says in most cases hot car deaths aren’t intentional.
“We want to partner with parents to prevent these tragedies and in most cases it’s loving parents or it’s while the kids are in the care of a caregiver and they’re distracted especially when they’re out of their routine,” McCabe added.
It’s something that Lauren Quakenbush, a mother of two knows all too well. She says she supports the new technology and hopes that it’s a wakeup call for parents.
“It’s definitely a sensitive topic but its one of those things that if its going to save kids lives there shouldn’t be a question. In the summer just five minutes without the air on is miserable so just think about if you as an adult are uncomfortable they’ve been uncomfortable already,” Quakenbush says.
If the bill is passed it would require that all car manufactures have the new rear seat alarm installed within the next two years.