WEST PALM BEACH, Florida. According to CNN, every year 37 children die in hot car deaths. As West Palm Beach, Florida sees more hot weather, the risk of hot car deaths have increased. CNN reports that only 21 states have laws designed to prevent hot car deaths. In eight states, it’s a felony to leave a child alone in a vehicle. What is Florida doing to prevent hot car deaths?
According to the Patch, Florida does have some laws that protect children. For example, under Florida’s Good Samaritan law, it is legal to break into a vehicle if you see a child unattended inside the car. But, individuals must say that they felt that the child was in danger or harm or suffocation. When hot car deaths were compared across the states, Florida was ranked second nationally. It makes sense given the state’s longer season of hot weather and more intense heat. A child only need be left alone in a hot car for a few minutes to suffer serious injury. Even when temperatures outside feel cool, the temperatures inside your car can get very hot. Children should simply not be left inside a car alone—ever.
Why do parents leave their children in hot cars? According to research, when the brain goes on autopilot, we may follow our normal routines without thinking. Even a small break in the routine can lead to slip ups. While the thought of leaving a child in the car might sound like a big slip up, it often happens when parents change their routines.
Should parents be prosecuted for leaving their children in hot cars? Or should cars be designed in a way to prevent parents from forgetting their children in the first place?
Another place where children are at risk of suffering injuries in a hot car or bus is at day care centers. According to the Patch, these centers should have more robust policies in place to ensure that no children are left behind in vehicles when being transported home, to day care, or to day care activities. Parents who leave their children at day care should also ask caretakers what their policies are for ensuring that children aren’t forgotten.
What can you do to protect your children? Always look before you leave your car. Some parents put their purses in the back seat, requiring them to go into the back to get their bag before leaving the car. If you leave your child at day care or school, ask the school or day care to call you if your child doesn’t arrive and you haven’t called to let them know your child will not be in school or day care. Cars should also be locked and keys kept out of reach of children. Children have also died while playing in hot cars.
If your loved one was injured in a car due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party, you may have rights. Smith & Vanture are car accident attorneys in West Palm Beach, Florida who help victims and their families seek recoveries for their losses and injuries. Visit our firm at https://www.smithvanture.com/ to learn more today.

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