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Major Automaker Groups Agree to Add Rear-Seat Reminder to Cars By 2025

2020 Hyundai Palisade

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, which together account for nearly all vehicles sold in the U.S., have agreed to add rear-seat reminders to members’ vehicles by no later than the 2025 model year.

Related: High-Tech and Low-Tech Ways to Help Parents Prevent In-Car Heatstroke

A rear-seat reminder is a safety feature that warns drivers to check the rear seats of a vehicle before getting out. Such features can help reduce the chance that a child gets left behind in a parked car and develops heatstroke, too often with fatal consequences.

Rear-seat reminders work in multiple ways. Two common methods are door-based warnings, triggered if a rear door is opened before driving. When the driver turns off the car, the warning alerts him or her to check the rear seat — and can sound the horn in some cases if they don’t. A more advanced version of the rear-seat reminder uses occupant sensors, such as Hyundai’s ultrasonic sensors that detect movement. Today’s commitment didn’t clarify which type of rear-seat alarm automakers would employ.

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No rear-seat warning system is a replacement for mindfulness, however. Parents and caregivers should always be careful to check the rear seat to make sure that everyone is safely out of the vehicle.

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