After a sudden rise in child death, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will aim to educate car manufacturers, industry representatives, and consumer groups including the everyday parent on the dangers of leaving children in an overheated car environment.

Tragically, 21 child deaths have been reported this year alone as a result of an overheated vehicle. These numbers are still unfortunately on target to last year’s 49 child deaths due to hyperthermia, according to a report by San Francisco State University.

Nearly half of all children who have died due to heat stroke had been forgotten in the vehicle by caretakers, parents, or guardians; others died because they had been playing in unattended cars, or tragically placed inside the vehicles intentionally.

“Not one of those children should have lost their lives in this horrible way,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “We need to do everything we can to remind people to be vigilant.”

As a part of their efforts to curb child death associated with overheated vehicles, the NHTSA will meet with auto experts and car seat manufactures to provide education on the matter, thereby reducing the risk of accidental child death due to hyperthermia.

Even a mild day can produce dangerous heat inside a vehicle

Parents and caretakers unknowingly allow children to play or sit inside overheated vehicles since they may presume fair weather will not produce high heat. But surprisingly, even an 80 degree day can produce a hot car interior – up to 123 degrees Fahrenheit after just one hour, according to experts at SFSU. These temperatures can quickly turn deadly if a child is left unattended.

The NHTSA also reminds parents and guardians that heat stroke, or hyperthermia, is the leading cause of death for children under 14 in non-crash-related vehicle deaths.

In San Diego, even a mild day can produce disastrous temperatures inside a vehicle. Never leave your child unattended, even for a few moments, and even if you think the weather is cool and cooperative. The DMV has loose provisions surrounding children left inside vehicles – unfortunately, the penal code legalese for leaving children inside a car is meager at best since it allows children over 7 to be left unattended. While this may serve as current California law, our firm strongly disagrees with the laws surrounding child supervision within a vehicle and we strongly urge all parents, guardians and caretakers to never allow a child to remain unattended when inside a vehicle.

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

Michael Pines, founder, is one of San Diego’s most trusted personal injury attorneys today. In practice since 1992, the firm aims to educate consumers on preventing accidents and ending cases of wrongful death. Every life is precious.

The Law Offices of Michael Pines has worked with many injured people in seeking fair recovery after an accident has happened. Specializing in children’s injuries, the firm works with families to understand each and every case – and most importantly, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines fight for your justice.

Insurance claims can be complex – that’s where a San Diego personal injury attorney can help. Every injury carries important details that are critical to the case. When parents work directly with insurance companies to resolve their case, these critical details can often be missed or ignored, resulting in unfair compensation to the family or an injured person. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that insurance companies will rush people and families into a quick settlement for their advantage.

Families should know that insurance companies are not looking out for their best interest.

If your child has been injured in a car accident, home accident, or while under the supervision at a day care, call the Law Offices of Michael Pines at 1-858-551-2090 for a free legal evaluation of your case. There are no out-of-pocket expenses, and the legal advice is free.

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