Whew! It can get hot inside the trunk of your car.
Fortunately for anyone who somehow becomes trapped in the trunk, you're able to get out thanks to a handy glow-in-the-dark release lever. All you have to do is pull, and open sesame!
This little emergency mechanism has been a mandatory standard feature on all new cars for the past 15 years. Why, you ask? I mean, when does this even come up for anyone not planning to turn in the state's evidence against the mafia in a movie?
The truth is actually pretty grim.
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 nowadays. 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.
- 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.
Heed this advice and ensure your car is equipped with an emergency escape lever, and you'll be ready to give trunk trouble ... the boot.