On average, hot-car deaths claim the lives of 37 children every year. Texas currently leads the nation in hot-car child deaths with five children dying in hot cars in 2018 alone. For 2019, Texas has already recorded four children dying in hot car-related incidents.
Study Determines Texas Accounts for 15% of Hot-Car Child Deaths
According to a report from Patch, 837 children under the age of 14 died in hot-cars between 1990 and 2017. 120 of those deaths, or just under 15% of the total number of deaths reported, occurred in Texas, which led the nation in hot-car child deaths.
Texas was followed by Florida, which recorded 89 deaths between 1990 and 2017, and only two states reported no child deaths due to vehicular heat stroke: Alaska and Vermont.
While many would attribute Texas’ abnormally high hot-car death rate to the states high population, experts noted that Texas still ranks high when looking at hot-car deaths on a per capita basis.
Experts also noted that outside temperature does not necessarily prevent hot-car deaths, with one test showing inside car temperatures climbing to more than 105 degrees within an hour of a car being shut off in an area with an outdoor temperature of 61 degrees. On warmer days, it can take as little as ten minutes for deadly interior temperatures to occur.
NHTSA Tips on Preventing Hot-Car Deaths
- Look Before You Leave: If you have a child, get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away.
- Leave Yourself a Reminder: Take simple steps to remind yourself to check your car before leaving. One habit can be keeping a stuffed toy or other momento in your child’s car seat, then moving it to the front seat as a visual reminder when the baby is in the back seat. Another option is placing your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
- Conduct Routine Call-In Checks: If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, make a call to make sure the child arrived safely at the destination.
- Keep Your Keys Out of Your Child’s Reach: Nearly three in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle. Keep your keys well out of reach of small children.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
If your child has been injured in an accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Children are vulnerable to injury, especially when negligent individuals and property owners put their safety in jeopardy. Automobile accidents, unsafe premises, medical malpractice, and defective toys can all cause severe harm to our children.
When your child suffers from a severe injury, you need a law firm with experienced injury attorneys and the legal resources to win your case. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients from across the nation in various types of accidents and obtaining record-breaking, real results.