Backseat Tragedies: Hot Car Deaths
Now available on Amazon!
It’s a topic no one wants to talk about. No parent ever thinks they could be capable of forgetting his or her own child in a hot car, but the sad truth is it happens dozens of times every year in the U.S. And those are just the fatal cases. There are many more unreported “close calls” each year. Experts believe the number of hot car deaths began to skyrocket in the 1990s, when states began requiring children to be placed in the backseats of vehicles (to avoid airbag deployment accidents) and car manufacturers began promoting rear-facing car seats for infants. While this is widely believed to be the safest place in a vehicle for an infant, it also puts the child in a vulnerable position–out of sight to the driver.
RJ and I wrote this book to get to the root of this problem. Why is this happening all over the country? What happens in a person’s brain to allow them to simply forget about their child–not just for a few moments, but for hours? What can we do to prevent more cases from happening? While the book is comprised of tragic true stories about real families, it also gets to the heart of problem and what we can do as a society to help. The first step in reducing these types of deaths, I believe, is to open up a dialogue about this problem. This CAN happen to anyone. Simply dismissing these parents as negligent, horrible people won’t help the situation. If we recognize that we are all human and fatal mistakes can be made, maybe more people will take precautions to ensure their children are always safe. Always place something you will need in your backseat, so you are forced to reach back there before you exit the vehicle. And always “look before you lock,” even when your children are not riding with you.
Researching and writing book was a real eye-opener for me and I think it’s an issue we all need to be educated on. The numbers won’t begin to dwindle until we are all aware of how easily it can happen and start working as a community to promote car safety tips.