What happened to a family in New Jersey after a blizzard was heartbreaking. A couple and their two children, ages 1 and 3, were trying to stay warm. The mom and the children stayed in the car with the engine running while the dad cleared snow outside. Nobody realized that the tailpipe was clogged with snow and carbon monoxide was filling the car. The mother and baby died.
Tragic deaths like this happen every year. When a car tailpipe gets clogged, carbon monoxide gets forced back into the car. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, there is often no warning that something is wrong. Hundreds of people in the United States die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The solution is simple. Many homes have carbon monoxide detectors. It’s time we installed them in cars.
A vehicle carbon monoxide detector would monitor carbon monoxide levels in the air inside the car while it is running. If the amount of carbon monoxide in the air starts to get dangerous, the detector will emit a loud and annoying beeping alarm. Or perhaps it would shut the car off.
With all the electronic gadgets modern cars have for connecting to satellite radio or tweeting messages from your phone while driving, it seems ludicrous that such a simple safety measure is not standard in cars today.