Throughout the year in southern California — and especially in the summer months — there are media reports on the dangers associated with leaving children inside parked cars on hot days. And yet, there are inevitably parents who let those warnings go unheeded, or simply forget their small child strapped in the vehicle. This often leads to heat stroke deaths for children.
Since 1998, there has been an average of 37 child heat stroke deaths in hot cars each year in the United States. As of the end of June, that number for 2017 was already at 17.
The temperature in automobiles can reach dangerous levels much more quickly than one might expect. When the exterior temperature is 80 degrees, it only takes about 10 minutes for the car to reach 100 degrees — and just 30 minutes for the car to reach 114 degrees. When it’s 85 degrees outside, the car reaches 105 degrees after about 10 minutes and 120 degrees after a half-hour.
Lawmakers introduce legislation to combat problem
Members of Congress recently introduced a new bill called the 2017 Hot Cars Act, which would require car companies to make vehicles that have alert systems warning a driver if someone is sitting in the backseat. This would help prevent parents from forgetting young children strapped into their booster seats when heading into a store or home.
In some circumstances, people who leave children behind in hot vehicles could find themselves legally liable if that child becomes ill or passes away.
To learn more about your legal options if another party’s negligence has caused injuries to you or your children, meet with a respected San Diego personal injury lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.