Keyless Car Deaths On The Rise
A growing number of deaths and injuries are being attributed to the “keyless car,” a technological advance that allows drivers to start their automobiles without physically inserting a key in the ignition. The innovation was praised when it was first released as a way for drivers to avoid locking their keys in the vehicle; now, however, experts are concerned about the rising number of carbon monoxide poisonings that are associated with the technology. Some have even lobbied for federal regulators to investigate the issue.
Florida Leads the Nation in Keyless Car Deaths
Palm Beach County has the highest number of deaths related to keyless cars to date. Seven of the 21 people killed since 2009 were in Palm Beach County. Many others have been injured due to inhalation of carbon monoxide, both in Palm Beach County and elsewhere.
Most people have been injured or killed when they failed to realize that the car was still running even after being shut off through the keyless system. If the vehicle is in an enclosed garage attached to the dwelling, the driver could be unaware that dangerous carbon monoxide gas is building up in the space. If the driver or someone else enters the garage, he or she could be quickly overcome by the fumes. Prolonged inhalation of carbon monoxide gas could result in brain damage or death.
What Is Being Done About Keyless Car Systems?
While one lawsuit has already been filed in California against numerous car manufacturers regarding keyless car system injuries, some experts are content to let the federal government handle the situation. However, those waiting on the government to take action may be disappointed.
So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has delayed the development of rules for keyless entry systems that would require vehicle manufacturers to follow certain safety protocols. The NHTSA recently issued a statement that it would once again push back the formation of these rules indefinitely, igniting a storm of protest from safety advocates. Part of the problem is that advocates for regulation are not in agreement on what the government should require auto manufacturers to do; another part of the problem is that any solution is likely to be costly.
Some manufacturers have taken the initiative to introduce safety features that minimize the risk of keyless car deaths, but many others have not. Calls have also been issued for increased driver education on the use of keyless entry systems, but this cannot guarantee that all drivers or their loved ones will be safe. So far, auto manufacturers have largely failed to take responsibility for the problem and have not installed safety features, such as audible driver alerts, that might contribute to fewer injuries.
What If I Am Injured In a Keyless Entry Vehicle Accident?
If you own a keyless entry vehicle, it is very important to take precautions to protect yourself and your family. Never leave the vehicle running in an enclosed garage. A good rule of thumb might be to leave the garage door open until you are sure that the engine has stopped.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a keyless entry vehicle, contact an injury attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. today. We are dedicated to helping victims protect their rights and obtain the compensation they deserve.