Car Window Switches Can Be Deadly For Kids
It has been more than five years since the January night when 3-year-old Steven Falkner climbed into the family car, without his parents, as it was warming up after church.Get more news about window switch manufacturers,you can vist our website!
As he leaned out the window, perhaps to yell something at the other children playing outside, Steven's knee hit the power window switch and the window closed on his neck, cutting off his oxygen supply, his parents say. He died at a hospital in Ottumwa, Iowa later that night.
After that devastating experience, Bethany Falkner learned that the electrically powered windows installed in most cars today may not be safe for children, and she wants other parents to understand that the worst can happen.
"You no longer have your baby," Falkner said. "That's what the electric car windows did to my child. Our son died."
Power windows are no longer a luxury option. They are equipped in 80 percent of all cars sold today. But certain power window designs have safety experts concerned they could pose a life-threatening hazard for children.At least 25 children have died over the past decade from injuries involving power windows in cars, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit group that tracks auto-safety issues involving children. A 1997 government study by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis estimated power windows sent nearly 500 people to emergency rooms in one year, and that half the victims were small children.
In a lawsuit, the Falkners blamed their son's death on the design of the power window switches in their car. The lawsuit has since been settled with the car maker admitting no liability. The company said: "Properly supervised children will not become trapped in the window of this vehicle."
But Steven's parents believe that the location and the type of switch that operates the windows played a role in the boy's death.
"I don't buy it, because if the power window button — the rocker switch — had been recessed or not been on the arm rest — our child would be here today," Kevin Falkner, his father, said.Janette Fennell, a consumer advocate for Kids and Cars, agrees that something is wrong in the design of window switches in many cars.
"It's very easy just to bump into it inadvertently and the window will go up," Fennell said, demonstrating with one of the problem type switches. "So what happens is a little one will have their head out the window and then their knee hits like right here."
Toggle or rocker switches mounted on a horizontal armrest are the type that can be activated accidentally, Fennell says. Toggle switches work when pushed forward of pulled back. Rocker switches are the type that move the glass up when you press one end of the switch, and down when you press the other.
Making matters worse, advocates say, most windows do not automatically reverse if they hit something on the way up. Lawyers suing car makers say the power windows can exert up to 80 pounds of pressure.