Keyless Cars are Killing People

Keyless cars are pretty cool. Keyless entry is actually now standard in over half of the new cars produced in the US every year, but after a lifetime of reliance on keys, it can still seem pretty wild. What a future we live in!

For a culture so adapted to keys, these keyless fobs can actually pose a health hazard. Many consumers who drive keyless vehicles actually forget to shut off their cars. As silly as it seems, this innocent habit of negligence is putting consumers in very real danger.

According to the New York Times, dozens of people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning after parking their keyless cars in their garage and accidentally leaving them on. Even more have been very seriously injured. And it could happen to anybody.

You might be rushing around. You might be sleep deprived. But all it takes is one day of forgetting to press the ENGINE OFF button on your vehicle. Pop your car into an attached garage, and carbon monoxide build-up could steadily and silently leak into your home, putting you and your family at risk for that silent killer, carbon monoxide poisoning.

All because we simply aren’t used to not having keys.

Car shape keyring and keyless entry remote

Absolutely no one should die simply because they carelessly forgot to push the OFF button on their car, but the auto industry has been slow to find an acceptable, industry-wide standard to solve this problem.

Until the industry makes serious steps towards regulation, keyless entry will continue to be a risk, especially amongst the elderly who are more prone to forgetfulness. Here are a few steps can you take to prevent this from happening to you and your loved ones.

1. Make sure the carbon monoxide detectors in your home are functional.

Check that they are placed correctly and double-check battery levels monthly. It is a simple thing that could save your life.

2. Develop a routine.

Maybe you put a reminder on the door to your house, telling you to to make sure the car is off. Maybe you leave your key and take off your shoes, giving you plenty of time to realize if the car is still engaged. Maybe you install a box over your light switch that reads, “car off?”.

There is no easy way to ensure you will always remember to turn your car off, but knowing yourself will help you develop a routine that could be supportive for you.

3. If buying new, look for built-in safety features.

As ‘leaving cars accidentally running’ becomes a more prevalent issue, big companies are making important shifts. New Fords, for instance, have a failsafe that cuts out the ignition if it is left idling for 30 minutes without the fob in the vehicle, making the carbon monoxide build-up problem practically a non-issue.

When looking for a new car, check out what sort of safety features come with the keyless entry. Not having a failsafe simply isn’t worth the risk.

Have you ever forgotten to shut your car off? Have you ever been concerned about forgetting? Share below. 

 Related on Care2

Images via Thinkstock.

73 comments

Angela K
Angela K4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Hannah K
Hannah K4 months ago

Thank you

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MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M4 months ago

Just scrolled through the comments. All new vehicles now come with the fob or keyless entry system, it is not a matter of choosing them, but perhaps there are other brands out there that still do the key thing. My car also beeps or sounds an alarm if I exit the driver door and leave the engine running, further when it is cold and one wishes to warm the vehicle, after removing from garage, one must turn off the engine, lock the doors, then do the remote start, you cannot lock the doors from the outside with the car running, which is a real pain in the backside. Not a matter of being lazy, just no choice for this model of vehicle for the last few years.

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MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M4 months ago

My car shuts off in 10 minutes. Not sure that the 30 minutes would be a safe time frame.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill4 months ago

thanks

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Kathy G
Kathy G4 months ago

Thank you

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda McConnell4 months ago

noted

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Andrea B
Andrea B5 months ago

LOL

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Mark T
Mark T5 months ago

Ty.

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