This isn’t a life you have chosen for yourself. Now, you may probably be thinking, what I am exactly trying to say. You have chosen a digital car that can be powered off and on with the push of a button for your comfort rather killing yourself. Yes, you heard it right; a recent report from the New York Times (NYT) published recently on Sunday (May 13, 2018), said that dozens of people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO) after failing to shut off the keyless ignition on their vehicles.
According to the Times, in America, since 2006 at least 28 people have died, and 45 others have suffered injuries from the gas (Carbon monoxide) after they thought they had turned off their vehicles. The report highlights the efforts by some groups to push for new regulations from automakers to tackle this issue.
What is Keyless Ignition System?
Keyless Ignition System generally consists of a key fob, which takes over the functions of a traditional metal key. Keyless ignition enables the drivers to start their cars by pressing/pushing a button or turning a rotary switch while an electronic key fob remains in their pocket or purse. In the early 2000s, this technology was introduced to the American Market. In the year of 2015, there had been 13 carbon monoxide-related deaths linked to keyless ignition cars, as claimed by a class action lawsuit. Later on, in September 2016, a judge dismissed the suit.
The Times report indicates the issue may be more widespread than previously estimated.
Seven years ago, The Society of Automotive Engineers, called for requiring automakers to include warning signals in their cars such as a series of beeps — to alert drivers if their cars were left on, said the report. Subsequently, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, then proposed a new regulation in line with the Society of Automotive Engineers idea. However, the auto industry opposed the rule, and the agency has yet to follow through with the regulation.
Be careful with keyless cars as even the slightest negligence can lead to a deadly error!
Do not shut off the engine without putting your car in “park”. Even if you put your car in park every time, never leave the engine active, as it may increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in a closed environment. Further, if you do not know how to shut down the engine of your car in the event of any on-road emergency, check your driver’s manual for detailed instructions on how to operate your vehicle properly. In such a scenario, you can always take assistance from people around you or call emergency helpline to prevent any mishappening. And of course, must watch NHTSA’s safety video on keyless ignition systems for basic safety tips.
Technology is an enabler of convenience, but convenience comes at a cost. All we can say is, it should not come at the cost of your life. Always follow the golden rule: Safety comes first, and it’s not worth risking our lives for anything.