February 5, 2019

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Keyless Ignition Hazards

Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for public safety.

There have been dozens of injuries and at least 28 deaths after people forget to turn the car off.

Today’s tip is about the hazards of keyless ignition systems we find in late model cars and trucks. 

Keyless ignitions are now common in personal and patrol vehicles and boy, what a convenience! No more fumbling for keys to operate the locks or start our vehicles. But this great technology comes with some risk. 

There have been dozens of injuries and at least 28 deaths after people forget to turn the car off. The most common scenario is this. A driver parks in an attached garage and gets out without turning the engine off. The carbon monoxide seeps into the home and poisons those inside. 

There are some electronic safeguards available out thereFor example, some systems will sound a loud warning if the engine is left running for a long period of time. Some systems will turn the engine off after the keyless remote is away from the vehicle for a certain period of time. The law doesn’t require these fixes as standard equipment. Yet, anywayBut some of these might not work well for public safety because sometimes we need to leave the car running.  

Maybe you never thought of it this way, but I bet you have a routine for getting out of the car. Stop. Shift into park. Seat belt. Maybe tilt the steering wheel. Whatever.  

Think through this process. Intentionally add a step for turning off the car. Press the button. Practice it a few times. Then intentionally follow the same process every time you get out. This will reduce the chances that you will leave the car running unintentionally.  

Not only will this help you avoid injury from carbon monoxide, developing and following a step by step process will help you get out of the car quicker. And help you avoid getting tangled in your seatbelt. But that’s a conversation for another day.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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