Parents Beware: The Dangers of Auto Rollaway

If you leave a child alone in a car, whether the engine is running or not, it doesn't take long for that child to unintentionally set the car in motion

Parents Beware: The Dangers of Auto Rollaway
Image: Pexels
September 19, 2017

Ever left or thought about leaving the kids in the car while you make a 'quick stop' at the supermarket, dry cleaner or post office? It only takes a second for your car to shift into gear and rollaway, leaving your kids in tremendous danger.

With the key in the ignition, automatic transmissions may be shifted out of park even if the vehicle's engine is off and the driver's foot is not on the brake. If you leave the key in the ignition and turn it to the accessory mode (to listen to the radio, open/close the windows, etc.) your vehicle's automatic transmission may be shifted out of 'Park' if you or a child moves the gear selector.

If you leave a child alone in a car, whether the engine is running or not, it doesn't take long for that child to unintentionally set the car in motion.

Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help you keep your kids safe!

Rollaway Prevention Tips:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.
  • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Keep vehicle locked when unattended.
  • Never leave keys in the car.
  • Engage your emergency brake every time you park.
  • Verify whether or not your vehicle has a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI). Read the owner's manual or check HERE to find BTSI-equipped vehicles.

What You Need to Know Now

  • When the vehicle is set in motion, children may become scared and jump out of the vehicle only to be injured or run over. They can also be hurt inside the vehicle, especially if they are unbelted and the vehicle is in motion. Sometimes, the vehicle may end up running over someone else.
  • Many vehicles today have a BTSI which is a safety technology intended to prevent vehicles from accidentally being put into gear.
  • All vehicles with automatic transmission with a Park position, manufactured for sale after September 1, 2010, must have BTSI.