Emergency Trunk-Release Lever Saves Lives

For the 2002 model year, all cars were required to feature a standard glow-in-the-dark trunk-release lever, which opens the compartment from the inside in the event of an emergency. Since the mandate, no children have died in the trunk of a car equipped with the lever, but accidental trunk entrapment in older cars has killed at least 22 children since 2002, according to safety watchdog and advocacy group Kids and Cars.

The group estimates that every year, 10 to 20 people, including kidnapped adults, die trapped in a car trunk. Older cars without the release handle make escape difficult. Trunk temperatures rise sharply, resulting in heat-related deaths.

Kids and Cars urges parents who own older cars to consider buying a trunk-lever retrofit kit, sold for as low as $9.99 in some places. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following prevention tips:

  • Teach children that vehicle trunks are for cargo, not for hide-and-seek.
  • Always supervise your children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
  • Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote-entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
  • Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.

NHTSA Wants Parents to 'Look Before You Lock' This Summer
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By Jennifer Geiger | September 21, 2012 | Comments (6)



I appreciate the concern for this type of death, but over 110 people die each DAY in car accidents. More attention needs to be put there.


So we shouldn't invest any effort into solving other car safety issues until absolutely no one is dying in car crashes anymore? Low hanging fruit like this tends to save more lives per investment and I don't think cars were made less safe because people did some research on this


No more red turn signals.
Require lateral turn signal repeaters
Require that the CHSMSL be LED based
Require higher mounted headlight be aimed lower (for the same seeing distance/range, and reduced glare for other people)
Increase the legally required minimum rear tire tread depth from 2/32" to 3/32"

This is a great idea. Something that can be prevented rather easily, and they addressed it.

Barnabus Archi

Thank you George for the suggestions.


CHMSL center high mounted stop lamp.
My finger slipped.

and driver training.

We can knock that 110 number down substantially, but there will always be accidents with humans driving.
I wouldn't want to live in a world where we prohibit people from driving, and require computers to drive us around. {though that seems to be the path the politicians are on}

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