Number of Children Who Have Died in Hot Cars Surpasses Annual Average

Automakers need to move quickly on their promise to add rear-seat reminder systems in new vehicles.

September 08, 2019

Itasca, IL - The National Safety Council is deeply saddened to learn that the number of children who have died in hot cars this year has already surpassed the annual average of 38. Forty children in the U.S. have died of pediatric vehicular heatstroke in 2019. This comes on the heels of a record-breaking 53 deaths in 2018.

Since 1998, all but three states – Alaska, New Hampshire and Vermont – have experienced at least one death of a child in a hot car. Deaths have occurred in every calendar month, including all winter months. The Council provides a free online training, Children in Hot Cars, that provides vital information about why cars heat up so quickly, why children in particular can succumb to increasing temperatures in cars, and what parents, caregivers and others can do to prevent these needless deaths.

Automakers took a step in the right direction Wednesday adding another layer of protection against these tragedies when they announced a voluntary commitment to add rear seat reminder systems to new vehicles by model year 2025. Automakers should move fast on their commitment and continue to collaborate on additional protections that can be provided to all drivers. We also encourage parents and caregivers to always look before they lock; teach children that cars are not play areas; keep vehicles locked even in driveways and garages; and keep keys and key fobs out of the reach of children so they cannot gain access to vehicles.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.

Partner with NSC

With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart