Trapping accidents claim the lives of upwards of 40-50 people each year; roughly 30 of which are under the age of 3 years old. Incidents in which a passenger is trapped inside of a car, truck, or other motor vehicle most frequently occur with children. Entrapment can happen to someone of any age, however, if the victim lacks the skills and/or ability to free themselves from the automobile.
Another common group of victims of automobile entrapment that receives somewhat less press are pets. Pets; just like infants; have no ability to speak and remind you that they need to be dropped off at the groomer or sitter on the way to work. They are also more prone to falling asleep in the car than an adult, due to restricted movement, boredom, etc…
Good Habits That Promote Passenger Safety
There are some good habits that you can practice in order to help keep your passengers and pets safe from the risks associated with vehicle entrapment. These habits are simple and should be easy to integrate into any schedule, busy or otherwise. Like any habit however, they require practice, practice, practice if you want the habit to stick.
Backseat Passenger = Front Seat Avatar
This tip is particularly handy if you are unused to traveling with a passenger on a regular basis and therefore at higher risk of forgetting that you have a passenger all together. Choose an item that will sit upfront with you while you drive if there is a passenger in the backseat of your vehicle. This front seat reminder will be in constant view, and therefore a consistent reminder of the previous cargo in back.
Look Before You Lock Up
When you are getting into or out of your vehicle, you should always open the back door; or pull the seat forward as the case may be; and check the backseat for unknown passengers. Usually this is a safety tip to avoid being assaulted or robbed when entering a vehicle, but this habit provides an entirely different benefit when exiting your vehicle- protecting passengers from being left behind and becoming trapped inside for a period of time. If you do this every single time that you get in or out of the car, it will eventually become so habitual that you won’t even have to think about it. ALWAYS lock the car up fully after checking for passengers so that little ones can’t sneak in later.
Consider a Backup Protection Plan to Prevent Fatality or Injury
Let’s be realistic, you forget things sometimes. Sometimes even important things like who is sitting behind you in the car. It doesn’t happen because you don’t care. It doesn’t happen because you are a bad caregiver to your loved one, pet, or client. It happens because it is simply impossible to remember everything, all of the time.
That’s why our company designed and began production of the Vesta device. It is a handy, GPS enabled, and solar powered alert system that you place in your car. It is designed to track the occupancy of your vehicle as well as the vehicle’s internal temperature and then alert you if there is an abnormally high concentration of CO2, or other indication of a passenger in danger of overheating. Having a good back up plan like this could save a passengers life.