For over 20 years, KidsAndCars.org (KAC) has been dedicated to the prevention of noncrash, vehicle-related hazards to children, such as heatstroke, backovers, and trunk entrapment. Since data is key to spurring safety improvements, KAC has long collected data on various not-in-traffic incidents. For many incidents that occur off of roadways, KAC was the first to begin collecting incident data, and it was instrumental in securing the 2005 legislation that required NHTSA to begin surveillance of these types of events. Read More from “Needed: Data on Pets Injured or Killed by Cars”
SRN recently heard from Carma McKinnon, Idaho’s CPS coordinator located at Lemhi County Sheriff’s Department, regarding concerns over ATVs and UTVs. ATVs (all-terrain vehicles, aka quads) and UTVs (utility-task vehicles, aka side-by-sides, recreational off-road vehicles, or ROVs) are used by families across the country for both recreation and work purposes, but can be extremely dangerous to children.
McKinnon noted that ATVs and UTVs are very popular in her state, and this seems to be the case across the country, with the largest sales volumes found in rural areas, especially in the South and Midwest. Sales have grown substantially over the past 10 years. Based on data from the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Specialty Equipment Market Association, roughly 250,000 ATVs are sold in the U.S. each year. Sales of UTVs have been even hotter; this newer market entry has surpassed ATVs in sales, with around 400,000 currently sold per year. Sales of these vehicles fluctuate with the strength of the economy, so they may vary widely from year to year.
Safe Kids provides a multitude of resources to assist local programs
On March 29, Safe Kids held its fifth annual Heatstroke Town Hall meeting. This meeting, which is meant to prepare partners for the Safe Kids’ awareness campaign launch on April 13, was recorded and is posted under Resources on the Safe Kids’ Online Speaker’s Bureau website.
The tragic death last September of a Macon, Georgia, infant in a grocery store parking lot reminds us of the very real danger to children when riding in a common form of “transportation”—the shopping cart. The 3-month-old was secured in his infant seat perched on the child seating area of the shopping cart when he and the CR toppled from the cart as it went over a parking lot speed bump.
On February 28, 2008, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act was signed, which requires the Department of Transportation to issue regulations with the goal of reducing non-traffic injury and death to children in and around vehicles.
The new law is applicable to all light motor vehicles and focuses on three areas: power-window safety, rearward visibility, and vehicle roll-away prevention. Auto makers will be required to include features to meet new performance standards and can draw from technologies that already exist on some current models.