U.S. automaker General Motors has just announced that every model in their latest line of 2017 GMC Acadia SUVs will have a "Rear Seat Reminder" to remind parents to check the backseat for their kids before they exit the car. The industry-first feature hopes to prevent the rash of heatstroke-related car seat deaths that have been occurring each year.
According to GM, the Rear Seat Reminder activates itself within 10 minutes of the car starting, or while it's running, when it senses the car's rear doors are opened and closed. Once the engine is turned off, the innovative system makes a noise and displays a message for the driver that reads "Rear Seat Reminder. Look in Rear Seat."
While the Rear Seat Reminder won't be able to detect if actual people are still left in the backseat, it's still a crucial physical reminder for parents to take a second and check the backseat—which is clearly a feature all parents could use. As Janette Fennell, founder of KidsandCars.org reminds us, "It happens to the best of parents. The worst mistake one can ever make is to think that it can't happen to them. No one is immune."
“The exciting GM announcement is an ‘industry first’ technology that should also be provided on all 2017 vehicles, not just one,” adds Fennell.