28 Deaths Linked To Poisoning By idling Cars With Keyless Ignitions!
Technology is a wonderful thing, but there are certainly some unforeseen negatives that come from the conveniences modern tech brings about. Keyless, or push-to-start, ignitions allow you to slide into the seat of your car and fire up the engine without having to bother with digging the key out of your pocket and inserting it into the switch. Instead, the car simply detects that the key is present inside the car and uses the press of a button to crank.
However, this also allows the driver to exit the vehicle and leave it running while taking the key with them. This can be intentional – who hasn’t wanted to leave their AC running on a hot day while they grab something from inside the house, while also having the ability to lock the doors – or accidental, since the driver also doesn’t have to retrieve the key from the switch before exiting.
As we all know, a car left running inside a garage is incredibly dangerous, as all internal combustion engines spew deadly carbon monoxide out of the exhaust. To date, 28 deaths have been attributed to poisoning by vehicles left running with their keyless ignitions on. In the video below, we meet a young lady whose dog likely saved her life or at least prevented her from becoming ill from carbon monoxide poisoning after a neighbor in her apartment left his car running for an extended period of time.
It seems reasonable for automakers to come up with some kind of system to shut off the ignition after so much time spent idling. If the driver is actually sitting in the car for whatever reason, perhaps a warning could pop up with a visual indicator that the ignition is about to turn off, prompting them to act if they wish to keep the motor running. I’ve also considered in the past if there is a way to build a carbon monoxide detector into the car itself where the fresh air enters the AC system so the car can shut itself off if the carbon monoxide levels get too high.