The deaths of thirteen people have been linked to keyless ignitions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
A keyless entry system allows you to start your car without having to insert a physical key. Instead, you simply push a start/stop button. While keyless ignition technology has been available for years, it has become popular in the past few years. Although the system provides you many benefits, there are potential hazards.
The Threat of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
If you leave your vehicle in a closed area without turning off the engine, harmful carbon monoxide gas accumulates, potentially leading to tragic consequenses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an announcement to make people aware of the risks associated with the use of keyless ignition systems.
Suggested Safety Procedures
In 2011, the agency recommended that new safety procedures and rules should be implemented to prevent the risks associated with the use of keyless ignition systems. But the implementation of the suggested rules is still pending. Drivers and passengers have lost their lives due to carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, thirteen people have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless systems, according to a report by Scripps News. Some drivers mistakenly believe that the engine will turn off automatically when they take out the key fob, tragically leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Recently, a reputed professor lost his life when he left his car running in the garage even though his son reminded him of the mistake. The professor was confident that that the engine would stop on its own because the key fob had been taken out. Unfortunately, he was found dead the next day in his bedroom. The lethal carbon monoxide had seeped into the bedroom.
Always turn off the engine of a car parked in a garage or closed area. This should be done with a physical key rather than with a key fob. If a driver leaves a car in a closed space without stopping the engine with a physical key, the car will continue to release harmful gas. There is no other way to stop this emission than by manually pushing the engine start/stop button.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that manufacturing companies should design cars that would turn off on its own even if the driver leaves the engine running. However, this is a proposal and not a rule. If a manufacturing company refuses to install this safety feature, no action can be taken against it. NHTSA also suggests installing a safety feature that would raise an alarm whenever the key fob is taken out from a vehicle.