On Keyless Car Risk

Attached is a link to a recent Detroit Free Press article outlining the tragedies that can result when vehicles operated by way of keyless technology are inadvertently left idling in garages attached to residences. Since I had not previously seen reports of this, it seemed worth noting. Apparently a significant number of vehicles utilizing such technology do not have automatic engine shutoff mechanisms – at least one of our “keyless” cars has no automatic shutoff — although the Free Press reports that such technology exists, is deployed on some vehicles, and can generally be included in keyless vehicles at little additional manufacturer cost. Its piece further indicates that versions the “Protecting Americans from the Risk of Keyless Technology” (the “PARK IT Act”), designed to require car makers to include such technology, have recently been introduced in the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives.

At one point, the article quotes an auto safety expert: “… [T]he law is needed because most people believe ‘our brains work better than they really do’ and any environmental sound including a garage door closing could mask a quiet engine still running or other warning cues.”


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