Not all injuries and deaths from Florida car accidents are the result of collisions and crashes. Across the country, dozens of children die every year after being left unattended in a hot car. The official cause is called hyperthermia or vehicular heatstroke. Since 199o, more than 800 children have died. During that time, 89 children have died in Florida from being left in hot cars.
While July is generally the most dangerous time for such Florida car accident deaths, kids can die in hot cars almost any time, anywhere. A 1-year-old baby died in Miami in March, when the temperature was said to be in the low ’80s. The Florida Department of Children and Families (FDCF) says that the temperature inside a parked car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Kids are also vulnerable because their body temperature rises more quickly than adults. Experts say the temperature of a child may rise as much as five times faster for a child.
Reasons for Florida Car Accident Deaths by Hyperthermia
It seems unthinkable that anyone could be so forgetful as to lock an infant in a hot car. But experts say there is an explanation. It has to do with the hurried, multi-tasking pace of modern parenting. Most victims, nearly 90%, of vehicular heatstroke are three years old or younger. As the safety group Kids and Cars observes, child car safety seats may actually contribute to the problem. Many car safety seats are in the back seat of the car and face rearward. This places the child out of the driver’s direct view.
If you are a harried parent and your routine is disrupted, you might have a “lapse in temporal memory.” USA Today reported a story, for example, of a stressed-out Tennessee father who went on a business trip. He put his 1-year-old in the safety seat of the family car in the driveway, meaning to take him to daycare. When the taxi came to pick him up at the airport, he rushed out to it, forgetting that he had left his son in the car.
Preventing Florida Car Accident Deaths in Hot Cars
The FDCS has some tips to keep children safe in hot cars this summer:
- Be sure to check the back seat before you leave the vehicle.
- Put your purse, briefcase, lunch, etc. in the backseat so you are sure to look before you lock the door.
- Do not let your children play near vehicles; they may accidentally lock themselves in.
- If there is a change in plans and someone else is dropping the kids off at summer camp, have them call you at drop off so you know everyone made it safely.
It can be a dangerous world out there, especially when people are not paying attention. If you or someone you love is injured by someone’s negligence, contact the Orlando personal injury attorneys at Martinez Manglardi, PA. We’ve been helping accident victims throughout Central Florida for more than 30 years. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation.