Sunday, July 24th, 2005
Deadly Silence â€“ Automobiles Ignore our Children
"No driver should be able to exit a car with a child in a car seat without being reminded the child is in the car." — Bruce Tognazzini
When a child dies in hot car, everyone blames the parent. That solves nothing. We must turn our attention to safety experts, government regulators and car manufacturers. They can be preventing these deaths.
First, let me say, I’m not talking about parents who intentionally leave a child in a car. The forgotten deaths are the ones I am discussing here. It is a situation that seems an impossible outrage to us, but is predictable by experts who study human behavior. These parents suffer from the worst possible case of "out of sight, out of mind."
Better technology can save kids’ lives. Here are a few ideas from Bruce Tognazzini and his readers. Tognazzini is a usability expert who studies human behavior to improve the design of everyday things.
Better child car safety technology:
- Add an auditory reminder when a car door is opened and a child’s belt buckle is still engaged (via wire or wireless connection to the car’s computer).
- If the driver locks the door and fails to open another door, sound a horn and flash headlights.
- Correct the force of air bag deployment so that a front passenger baby seat is a safe option (and change applicable laws).
- Offer a toggle to deactivate the front passenger air bag to make it safe for a baby seat (and change applicable laws).
- Detect the presence of a passenger, tied to the car heater/air conditioner to never allow a deadly interior temperature.
- Add a solar roof panel to assist in running the air conditioner when the vehicle is parked.
Are Safety Experts Killing Our Kids? [asktog.org]
As of three days ago, 19 children have died this year in the United States, left unattended in vehicles.
Also see: KidsAndCars.org