One of the biggest vehicle-based threats to children is the propensity of an automobile to be taken out of park accidentally. Once the key is placed in the ignition, many vehicles can be shifted into another gear without the car even being turned on. If a child is the one to accidentally make this happen, he or she might panic and attempt to exit the vehicle. This can threaten the child’s life further. To offset the threat, the NHTSA wants parents to follow a few tips.
First, parents should know that all vehicles made after September 1, 2010 will come with a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock onboard the vehicle. This component impedes the ability of vehicles to be shifted when not turned on. Concerned persons who own older vehicles can consult the owner’s manual to determine if the device is installed onboard their automobile.
If you don’t have one of these devices, make sure to never let your child out of your sight when in or around a vehicle. Emphasize that vehicles are not toys to be played with, and then to further ensure a danger won’t present itself, always leave the key somewhere other than the vehicle and keep it out of reach of children.
Finally, whenever you park, considering using the emergency brake.