Think you know everything about car dangers? Here are 9 non-traffic related car dangers that might have slipped under your radar.
Every year, thousands of children lose their lives due to preventable car-related accidents – another 841,000 are injured. Some of the causes are well known—like leaving your child in a hot car—with ample existing initiatives to raise awareness. Others, like power window strangulation, receive less media coverage, but nonetheless are the cause of countless tragedies every year. According to kidsandcars.org, the only organization that documents fatalities and serious injuries in children due to non-traffic accidents, the following are the most common non-traffic related dangers associated with cars:
The Top Four:
1. Hot car/heatstroke
On average, 38 children die in cars due to heatstroke or heat related injuries. Click here for a comprehensive list of safety tips.
2. Backovers and Frontovers
It’s easy to teach your four or five year old the danger of playing near cars, but it’s more difficult when your children are three and below, ages where they might not be able to comprehend what “dangerous” means. If your car does not have a rear-view camera, there are many aftermarket car accessories that offer visibility options for both the front and back of your vehicle.
3. Power window strangulation
It only takes 22 pounds of force to suffocate an infant or toddler, and much less to cause injury. Power windows can exert 30-80 pounds of force. Always be mindful when your children are in the drivers or passenger seat, even if the car is stopped and parked and you are nearby. It’s true—turning your back for even a few minutes can leave to perilous consequences. When the vehicle is moving or your children are in the back of your car, be sure to use child safety locks on your windows, if they’re available.
4. Trunk entrapment
On newer cars, there have been no trunk fatalities since glow-in-the-dark internal release mechanisms were installed. If you have an older vehicle, ConsumerReports writes on how you can make your trunk safer.
While the following do not lead to as many deaths as the ones listed above, parents should still be mindful and take precautions against these.