Why NHTSA Says No to Hot Car Detection Systems for Children

By Joel Arellano | July 31, 2012
Remember reports about car safety systems that notify parents if they leave their child in a hot car while waiting in line for an overpriced, triple shot iced cappuccino with soy milk at the local chain coffee shop? You, know, those systems that go "Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!" as the kid back there turns red, then blue, then jerky, you jerk? Well, they don't do squat. That's our blunt interpretation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's opinion of such safety systems. The federal agency tested 18 detectors that'll supposedly alert parents and caretakers that a helpless little thing is in the back row. Some would detect pressure in the child car seats, like TOMY's First Years convertible car seat, while others used other types of sensors. The NHTSA's findings on the 11 such safety systems that are currently on the market? They don't do diddlysquat. States David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, "While we feel these devices are very well-intended, we don't think they can be used as the only countermeasure to make sure that you don't forget your child behind in a car." Issues discovered included false alarms, smartphone signal interference, and even the child deactivating the system. The NHTSA recommends education in the dangers of leaving children in vehicles during warm days, even for brief peri0ds of time. Apparently the fact that nearly 40 children die each year from being roasted in the family's car is just not enough for parents. Automotive.com's take: Over 500 children have perished from hyperthermia since 1998, with more than 30 dying last year alone. Remember that saying, "don't drink, drive"? Here's another one: "Hot cars and children don't mix." Learn it, love it, just like your little one. Source: Detroit News