Today’s cars are all about maximizing convenience, so it’s no surprise that keyless cars are incredibly popular. The majority of cars produced since 2014 are either automatically keyless or allow you to add a keyless start as a feature. However, there are downsides to keyless cars. To start, there has been an uptick in deaths and car accidents among keyless vehicles.
Learn more about the risks of keyless vehicles, and if you’ve been hurt in a crash, find out how Hedge Copeland can help you. Give us a call at 251-432-8844 to schedule a consultation now.
Rollaway Accidents Are on the Rise
Statistics show an increase in rollaway accidents since keyless cars have become commonplace. When you park a regular keyed car, you automatically turn the car off, take the keys out of the ignition, and get out of the vehicle. It just becomes a habit after driving long enough. However, you lose that habit with a keyless car. Your keys can be in your purse or briefcase and still be close enough to turn your vehicle on.
Because of this, rollaway accidents are becoming more and more common. It’s easy to stop the car and get out, thinking that you’ve put the car in park and turned it off. Since there are no keys to remove from the ignition and keyless cars tend to run very quietly, it’s hard to notice that the car is actually still running. The car can then roll away, often striking objects, other vehicles, or people in its path. In some cases, they can even hit the person who was driving the car as they cross in front of the vehicle.
Some cars have safety features built in to prevent this. They may blare an alarm if you turn the car off without parking it or sound an alarm if you open the door while the car is in drive. However, these features are not required, and many manufacturers still do not offer them.
While carbon monoxide deaths are not collision-related, they are still a tragic side effect of keyless cars. Again, this relates to the convenience of keyless cars and how quiet they are.
This type of accident tends to happen when someone goes home for the day and parks their keyless car in their garage. They put the car in park but forget to push the button to actually turn the vehicle off. Since the car is so quiet, they head inside without ever realizing something is wrong.
Over the course of the night, carbon monoxide levels build in the garage and then the home. No one knows anything is wrong until the victim is discovered the next day. This is devastating for surviving family members and loved ones, especially since it could be prevented by a loud alarm that sounds when the vehicle is left on without any occupants.
What the Next Step Is
In some areas, legislators are pushing for greater oversight of keyless vehicles. They hope to see laws forcing manufacturers to install safety features that prevent rollaway accidents, as well as those that prevent users from unintentionally leaving the vehicle on for long stretches of time.
Until legislators are successful, however, it is up to each manufacturer to do the right thing. Some manufacturers have stepped up and now have basic alarm systems to alert drivers that they have left the vehicle in drive or have left the vehicle on and unattended.
For those who drive keyless cars, building simple habits into your driving routine can help. For example, when you stop the car and park it, you may want to check the gear shift through the window before walking away from the car. When you park the vehicle in your garage at night, you may make it part of your bedtime routine to verify that the vehicle has been turned off.
Start Your Claim with the Team at Hedge Copeland
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. Set up a consultation with our team to discuss your accident and find out if you have a valid claim. Reach out or call us at 251-432-8844 to get started.