Keyless cars have become increasingly common in recent years, after being introduced to the world in a turn-of-the-century Mercedes-Benz. Now, new vehicles of all levels and price points often have keyless ignition as an option. However, there is a downside to this new trend.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car crash caused by a keyless car, you have options and you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more now by calling Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370.
Benefits of Keyless Ignitions
The benefits of keyless ignition are obvious. First, they definitely make a driver feel cool. They get into their car, push a button, and drive away smoothly without ever having to mess around with keys. Second, they reduce wear and tear on the ignition itself. This is especially true for drivers who tend to have lots of keychains on their keys, as this much extra weight can put lots of extra stress on the ignition.
Keyless ignition can also save time for some drivers. If you’ve ever spent precious time digging to the bottom of your purse or work bag for your keys, you know how annoying it is. With keyless ignition, the vehicle simply senses that the keys are in the car and allows you to start the car right away.
These benefits may not be enough to outweigh the serious risks caused by keyless cars, however.
An Increase in Rollaway Accidents
To start, keyless cars have led to a huge uptick in rollaway accidents. These accidents can affect both drivers and those caught in the car’s path. In one accident, a woman got out of her keyless car in her family’s driveway and walked to the back to unload something from the trunk. She had unknowingly left the car in drive, and the car rolled backward over her and killed her.
This is a common mistake. A driver pushes the button and turns the car off without putting the vehicle in park first. Cars are supposed to have built-in warning systems that alert drivers when they turn the car off when it’s not in park, but these systems do not always work. Rollaway vehicles have also injured and killed those in other vehicles as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.
It’s also easier (with keyless ignitions) to walk away from a car that is both on and in drive. If you have a habit of turning your car off and putting your key away, you automatically turn it off before leaving the car. But if you don’t have a key to remove, this habit fades. This is unfortunately very easy in keyless cars, especially since this feature is more widely available in newer vehicles. These cars are often much quieter than their predecessors, which makes it difficult to tell if the car is on or off.
Deaths Caused by Carbon Monoxide
Another issue is an increase in deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. As explained before, it’s easy to walk away from a keyless car and unintentionally leave it running, especially if the car is quiet. This can be a deadly mistake if you park your car in a garage.
The car runs and leads to the buildup of carbon monoxide in the garage and eventually in the house. This has led to multiple unintentional deaths. Drivers, their family members, and even their pets are at risk of death if a driver leaves a car running in the garage overnight.
This issue has not gained much traction in legislation, so much is left to each individual auto manufacturer. Standards vary across brands, so it’s important to protect yourself and build in safe habits if you drive a vehicle with a keyless ignition system.
Make a habit of double-checking your vehicle to ensure it is off before you head into your house for the night, and before you get out of your car, double-check the gear shift to ensure that the vehicle is in park. You can also make a habit of putting the parking brake on every single time you leave the car to prevent rollaway accidents.
Choose Peake & Fowler for Your Personal Injury Claim
Car accidents can leave you with serious injuries and thousands of dollars in medical bills. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation. To talk about your claim in more detail, call Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370 or contact us online