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.
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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