Power Windows Pose Serious Risk for Children in Citrus County

466137_boy_hanging_out_car_window.jpgWhile it may be shocking, accidents involving power windows occur much more frequently than many people realize. According to a recent study conducted by KidsandCars.org, injuries to children and occupants in cars outfitted with power windows are estimated to be in the range of tens of millions. This dramatically differs from estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at less than 2,000.

KidsandCars.org is urging the NHTSA to reexamine its findings that safety technology like auto-reversing systems (ARS) does not need to be mandated due to so few injuries linked to power windows. ARS technology reverses a window when a barrier is detected to be blocking the window from closing. This prevents vehicle occupants and passengers from being injured by the force of power windows. The NHTSA estimates 1,943 injuries and six deaths every year due to power windows. Data collected by KidsAndCars.org suggests that a considerably higher number of people suffer injuries from power windows annually.

The research commissioned by KidsAndCars.org was conducted through telephone and online surveys administered by the research firm Harris Interactive in October 2009.

The results were as follows:

• More than 13 million adults throughout the country have injured someone they know or love by closing a car window.

• More than 22 million adults in the United States have suffered personal injuries or know someone who has been harmed by someone else closing a car window.

• More than 10 million adults in the U.S. have been harmed by someone else closing a car window, but did not require medical care, which in turn means they were not included in government collected data.

As a parent, it is important to recognize the risks of power windows. They can actually exert enough force to crush or fracture a child’s bones and even strangle a child. Fortunately, all automakers are required to install “pull up/push down” switches in all vehicles as of October 2010. This decreases the chances of a window inadvertently closing. However, by equipping cars with $6 ARS, this can completely stop windows from closing if a hindrance is detected. This works much like the technology used in garage doors and elevators. Currently, the law does not mandate the use of ARS in vehicles.

So, what can you do to make sure your child is protected in the meantime? Make sure you teach your kids the importance of vehicle safety and why they should not play with windows. While they may find it fun and exciting to flip the window switches up and down, doing so can lead to severe injuries or even death. Many cars are equipped with a window lock switch, so always use this as a precautionary measure when a child is in your vehicle. Lastly, never leave your child alone in a vehicle.

If your child or a friend’s child has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or a defective product, contact the Citrus County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call our Inverness office at 352-726-0078. We represent injury victims in Inverness, Crystal River, Beverly Hills, Lecanto, Homosassa, Dunnellon, Hernando, Sugarmill Woods, Citrus Springs and Floral City.

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