According to a report in the New York Times (NYT) on May 13, 2018, at least 28 people have died since 2006 from carbon monoxide gas as a result of leaving their car running after they thought they had turned off their car. In addition, according to the NYT, 45 persons suffered injuries from the poisonous gas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a very real concern with Keyless ignition is that a driver will inadvertently leave the engine running, which increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in a closed environment such as, for example, the attached garage to a home. The NHTSA in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers proposed that automakers be required to include warning signals on vehicles with keyless ignition in order to alert drivers if their cars were left on. However, the proposed regulation was opposed by the auto industry and, to date, no such regulation is in place to protect drivers and other persons against the carbon monoxide risk associated with keyless ignitions.
It should be noted that there are additional dangers related to vehicles with keyless ignitions, including cases in which drivers forget to put their auto in “park” and walk away from the car, which could roll away and injure a person or property. There are also cases in which drivers with keyless ignitions wither forget to how to shut off the engine or do not know how to do so, which can endanger themselves or others when on on-road emergency takes place.
The NHTSA has some common sense suggestions for preventing some of the pitfalls associated with keyless ignitions, which include the following:
- Always make sure that your car is in “park” prior to turning off the engine.
- Making certain that the engine has been shut down.
- Applying the parking brake for the car, SUV or truck.
- Reviewing your driver’s manual.
The NYT article can be found at the following: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/business/deadly-convenience-keyless-cars-and-their-carbon-monoxide-toll.html. NHTSA important safety information about keyless ignition systems can be found at the following: https://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle-Shoppers/Safety-Technology/Keyless/Keyless.
The auto injury and truck injury lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of all automobile drivers and passengers throughout PA and serve motor vehicle accident victims and their families in Reading, Pottsville, and many other areas of Berks County and Schuylkill County. The lawyers at the firm handle cases in courts throughout Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call or fill out a contact form on our website.
From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire.