It is horrifying to imagine, but at least twenty-five children have perished in the past decade as a result of injuries involving power windows, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group that tracks auto safety as it pertains to children. Infants and toddlers are somewhat oblivious to the concept of electronic switches, and as a result, they’re prone to accidental death resulting from power windows. Accidental deaths occur when children lean their head out a car window, and accidently trigger the window switch as their neck is strangled by the glass window.
However, car manufacturers are adapting to the risk posed by electronic windows. The lever switch was created in order to prevent accidental deaths resulting from electronic windows. Lever switches must be pulled in order to raise a car’s glass window. Therefore, it is almost impossible for a child to accidently trigger the switch while leaning out the window. But not all cars are equipped with this safety feature. More common in automobiles is the use of rocker switches and toggle switches. The Rocker switch moves the glass up when you push one end of the switch, and propels the window down when you push the other. The toggle switch controls the window when pushed forward and back. Children can easily kneel on the switch and trigger the window upwards while their head protrudes out the window. In order to avoid this situation, careful supervision is the best defense. Also, purchasing a car with a lever switch is the only surefire way to avoid this absurd calamity.
Auto-reverse sensors are only required by law in the United States for vehicles with auto/one-touch-up windows remotely controlled. However, they have gained widespread popularity in Europe in recent years. Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety, recently remarked: “If garage doors can have a reversing sensor, power windows should!”