GMC develops feature reminding drivers to check back seat

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The weather is heating up across the Southland for the summer and people are reminded to double check their backseat to prevent children and pets from dying of heat stroke inside cars. (KABC)

As the weather heats up across the Southland for the summer, people are reminded to double check their backseat to prevent children and pets from dying of heat stroke inside cars.

As a way to help prevent such tragedies, GMC has developed a new feature that will be standard in all 2017 Acadia vehicles.

The industry first-time feature reminds drivers to check the back seat of their car as they exit under certain circumstances, according to the car company.

"General Motors has developed a new technology for the GMC Acadia, the Rear Seat Reminder, to give busy parents an important reminder to check the back seat before leaving the car," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "Technology alone cannot solve the issue of heatstroke when it comes to young children, but this new Acadia reminder can help. We must always remember that the safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle."

The feature should activate when either rear door is opened and closed within 10 minutes before the car is started, or if they are opened and closed while the car is running. In essence, the car tracks the sequence of how a driver and possible passengers enter it.

The next time the car is turned off, the vehicle will give off chimes and display a message for the driver to check their rear seats.

Spokesperson Kristen Rubi said the feature will be added to more vehicles in the near future, but did not disclose which models would have it.

GMC said the feature cannot detect items that are left in the seat and reminds people to be vigilant and check just to be sure.
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