Breaking News
More () »

Why the emergency trunk release lever is important

Cars.com’s Matt Schmitz highlights the importance of the emergency trunk release lever.

A mandate in 2002 required all cars to feature a standard glow-in-the-dark trunk-release lever, which opens the trunk from the inside in the event of an emergency.

As many as 20 people die each year while trapped in a car trunk, where temperatures can rapidly rise to deadly levels.

Some are kidnapping victims, and others are children who become trapped inside while playing in the car.

Older cars — those manufactured prior to the 2002 regulation — are the culprits in most trunk deaths.

While no kids have lost their lives in a properly equipped new car since the mandate, nearly two-dozen have died in older cars.

Safety advocates recommend these measures for preventing a trunk-trapping tragedy:

• Consider buying a trunk-lever retrofit kit, which you can pick up for as little as 10 bucks.
• Teach children that car trunks are for cargo, not hide-and-seek.
• Always supervise youngsters in and around vehicles.
• Check the trunk right away if your child goes missing.
• Lock your car up and be sure keys and remote-entry devices are out of kids’ sight and out of reach.
• Keep the rear fold-down seats closed and locked to dissuade children from climbing into the trunk from inside the car.

It's important to ensure your car is equipped with an emergency escape lever.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out