Florida Residents Beware: New Vehicle Ignition Systems May Pose Carbon Monoxide Risk

March 9, 2010
By Dan Irving , Esq. on March 9, 2010 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)

Having a car equipped with a keyless system and push button start may be a convenience for some and a cool gadget for others, but regardless, you should be aware of the concerns around owning a keyless system vehicle. A recent LA Times article raised questions regarding the safety of driving a car with a new keyless system. The article states that there have been reported concerns including people not being able to turn off their engines in emergencies and people who unintentionally left their engines running for hours.

How can it be possible for some drivers to forget they left their engines running? With all the distractions of life, it could be very easy to forget to press the off button after stepping out of their vehicles. And while some vehicles warn their drivers that the engine is still running, and some automatically shut off after the driver walks away, some vehicles offer no warning if the engine keeps running after the driver steps away from the car. If all keyless system vehicles shut off on their own via a timer after the driver leaves the car, not only would this be safer, it would also save gas. According to the Chicago Tribune, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Society of Automotive Engineers are working on standards that would make driving these vehicles safer.

If your car is left running in the garage, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes from the vehicle will enter your home, leading to harmful or even deadly consequences. Carbon monoxide does not have a particular smell or color, so it is difficult to detect unless you already feel some of the symptoms from exposure to carbon monoxide. Some of these symptoms include feeling weak, dizzy, disoriented, nauseous, and having headaches.

Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning range from leaving idling vehicles in the garage to having malfunctioning gas heaters at home. Earlier this year, two Sarasota, Florida, Ringling College students woke up feeling dizzy and disoriented. They were lucky to have woken up, as they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Six people in total were affected as a result of a defective gas heater in a home that is owned by Ringling College. They were all treated and released from the hospital.

Not everyone affected by carbon monoxide poisoning is so lucky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carbon monoxide poisoning sends over 20,000 people to emergency rooms nationwide and over 400 Americans die from Carbon monoxide poisoning each year. One of the precautions to take in the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning includes installing carbon monoxide detectors at home.

If you or your family has been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning due to someone else's neglect, contact an attorney with experience handling carbon monoxide and personal injury cases.

Dan Irving is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer handling accident and injury cases for more than 29 years in South Florida. He has received a 10.0 rating on AVVO, a lawyer rating service, which is the highest rating given for a lawyer. He is also AV rated by Martindale Hubbell.

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