You may think your child is safe left alone in a car that is not running. Or perhaps your children are playing in the yard around cars parked on the street. Whatever the case, you should be aware that even parked cars that are not running pose a danger to those in and around them. In fact, cars built before 2010 with automatic transmissions can be shifted into gear and roll forward or backward, endangering those inside and those around the vehicle.
How a Roll-Away Can Happen
In cars without a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (required in all cars built after September 2010), whenever the key is in the vehicle’s ignition, an automatic transmission can possibly be moved out of park, even when the vehicle's engine is off and the brake is not depressed. Follow these tips to prevent a tragedy and keep your child safe:
- Never leave a child or children in the vehicle.
- Supervise children when they are getting in or out of a vehicle.
- Make sure to keep your vehicle locked and the keys out of reach when not in use.
- Never leave the keys to a vehicle in the car.
- Utilize the emergency brake when your vehicle is parked.
- Verify whether or not your vehicle has a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI). Check your vehicle’s manual, or check this list to find out if you have a BTSI-equipped vehicles.
What You Need to Know About Vehicle Rollaway
Keep the following facts in mind to prevent a deadly rollaway accident:
- If the vehicle accidentally begins moving, the child may become scared and attempt to jump out while the vehicle is moving. In doing this, the child can become injured, or possibly run over by the vehicle.
- Many newer vehicles are equipped with BTSI technology, which prevents the vehicle from accidentally being put into gear.
- All vehicles built with an automatic transmission with a “PARK” position, after September 1, 2010, are required to have BTSI technology. Newer cars also have other safety technology that can save lives.
Motorists are responsible for their vehicles, whether behind the wheel or not. Cars and trucks should be stored in a safe location when parked to avoid accidents such as rollaways.
If you've been injured in a rollaway accident, or any auto accident, you need the help of an experienced Indiana car accident attorney. At the law offices of Keller & Keller, we can provide you with a free consultation and advice on your case.