TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Child Safety and Rear Facing seat (SAFETY CONCERNS)

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by MagicDoc, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. MagicDoc

    MagicDoc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Dallas
    As a very happy new owner (one week), I have some safety concerns about my grandchildren riding in my vehicle.
    Two issues:
    Visibility of children in rear facing seats:
    Our granddaughter was very proud to have gotten out of her 5 point restraint prior to my opening the hatch. I again emphasized that she, and the other grandkids, always need to leave their seat belts fully buckled while riding. Another situation with her was while riding, she did not respond to my question...are you okay? Upon pulling off the highway, I found she had fallen asleep. Whewwww! Nothing serious. So with this issue, I feel that I need a way to visually see the kids in the rear. Are they okay? Any aftermarket ideas from my forum friends? (I can see my Tesla in my garage with my webcam 500 miles away, but wish I could see the kids in the rear, only 7 feet away.)

    Deaths due to children being left in a car:
    With over 40 children each year accidentally being forgotten and left in a car, none of us ever want that to happen to us. Several clever ideas have surfaced to remember a child is in the car, but as Tesla owners we should have an additional advantage. If the car can observe the driver has exited, with or without the key fob, it would seem obvious to me that some system could be programmed to remember children in the rear facing seat or a baby in the back seat (yet rear-facing carrier blocks our view of the baby). Or...
    If a simple application on the control screen, that the driver could press at the start of a trip that a child is in the car; a alert or alarm would sound AND appear when the driver exited the vehicle...Ooops..."kid(s) still in car!

    As a pediatrician, I take auto safety very seriously, as do most of my families. Tesla has an unique opportunity here to address both of these issues. Thanks for any comments of suggestions.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Good ideas and could be solved with software and some additional hardware I would think. Seat belts being undone while car is in motion should trigger an alert on the dash. Weight or motion sensors along with camera facing rear seats should alert driver if they walk away and car turns off.
     
  3. callmesam

    callmesam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    863
    Location:
    Santa Monica
  4. MagicDoc

    MagicDoc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Dallas
    Thank you
    @callmesam: that may be a good temporary solution. will figure out how to attach. since i will not be slamming the rear hatch, perhaps velcro my work.
    @dsm363: just making suggestions. as everyone knows...sometimes designers may not understand some of the complexities. For an extra $500, when they were reinforcing my rear facing seat option, I would have been delighted to have some extra safety technology installed too...whether a seat belt sensor, weight sensor or camera monitor.

    Interesting on the Tesla forum, it seems that those who do not have the rear facing seat do not understand the issues. Comments like:"well don't put them in the rear facing if it is an issue", etc...indicate lack of knowledge. Growing up, my family traveled from Dallas to California in a Plymouth station wagon with rear facing third row, no minivans then. It was not an issue then...no safety seats or latch systems existed. It was a blast riding in the rear...window rolled down on the tailgate, etc...Today the issues have changed!
     
  5. Kraken

    Kraken Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    799
    Location:
    Voltageville, CA
    Why is this in the TMC connect section?
     
  6. JST

    JST Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,508
    The "leaving kids in the car" concern is a very real one, but by the time the kids are old enough to ride in the trunk they will most likely be old enough to unbuckle themselves and trigger the "hatch open" button that's on the left side of the car, under the trim piece (ask me how I know). Of course, teaching kids NOT to open the hatch when they aren't supposed to is its own complication (again, ask me how I know)...

    The visibility issue is a little more problematic. You could hook up a web cam on a MiFi portable router, I guess, though that seems like killing an ant with a sledgehammer. I think a small portable mirror is probably a better solution, and might give the kids the benefit of being able to see where you're going. I imagine you could mount one right between the speakers on the hatch.

    My bigger issue remains cooling back there. Even with the sunscreen in place, it's uncomfortably hot back there in the summer. I bought a portable Ryobi fan with its own battery pack, which helps, but you have to remember to grab a fresh battery for every trip. Would be nice if we could get a power point back there--or, better yet, some cooling vents.
     
  7. Vger

    Vger Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,685
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
    OK, I'll bite; how do you know these intriguing details. :wink:
     
  8. JST

    JST Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,508
    My 3 year old has already figured out both steps.
     
  9. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Mod Note: Moved to Model S: Interior & Exterior
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    (Insert "so easy a 3 year old child could do it" joke here.)
     
  11. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Under what conditions can they trigger the button? I had thought it could only be activated when the car was in Park.
     
  12. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Visibility sounds like a good idea.

    On the other item, as a parent that has 3 kids (now grown), I'm baffled how a parent can forget they have children with them...and seems directly at odds with the visibility concern. The parent is really worried about being able to see the kids while in the car...until they open the door and then suddenly forget they have kids and waltz off leaving them behind?
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Nothing personal to the OP, but I agree with ckessel. These are human issues and not Tesla issues. Kids need to learn not to unbuckle themselves and anyone who might forget they have kids in the car could equally forget to engage the reminder button. Something low-tech like a big Post-It note might work better as a semi-permanent reminder.
     
  14. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    the hatch CAN only be opened when the car is in park!! My kids have tried and it doesn't work! Further if you feel like adding more weight to not allowing them to opening the hatch at all you can turn on the feature that won't allow anyone to open the doors from the inside from the passenger seats back including the hatch at any time. This of course may hamper any passengers you have with you at the time. It will keep your kids from opening the hatch when you don't want them to either.

    I am in agreement with the OP I wish tesla had put in some sort of camera back there so we could see what. Our kids are doing as you can't see over the seats. My kids are 6 and 8 and they know NOT to unbuckle while driving down the road etc...but children can still be mischievous little creatures.
     
  15. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    868
    Location:
    NJ
    How is forgetting your kid in the way back any different than forgetting your kid in the backseat? More importantly how is forgetting your kid an issue to begin with?

    The visibility thing would be convenient, sure, but at 35+lbs you really shouldn't need to be watching your kid every single minute of the day... plus you know there is that road you should be watching instead.

    My biggest issue with them is that you can't reach back there to hand the kids snacks, toys or whatever. They also can't just undo their belt and come climbing over like I could in my parents station wagon. For that reason they're not road-trip seats, just around the town seats. Still awesome to have though. PArticularly not having to worry about finding booster seats for friends. Seating 7 in a not-SUV/Minivan is wonderful.
     
  16. MagicDoc

    MagicDoc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Dallas
    Yes, a great insertion! Now I am looking for the appropriate fan that a 3 year old can operate safely to stay cool. The Ryobi looks great, but little fingers inserted into a moving blade does not appear to be a good option.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If this were just a human issue, why do most cars have a buzzer or alert when driver or passenger do not buckle their seat belts. These are adults. My comment was that if there is the technology to alert the adult, perhaps similar technology could be developed if the rear facing child unbuckled their 5 point harness, an alert would sound. No one is perfect, just observe the posts wanted "blind spot" alerts...every little bit of safety technology available can't hurt. Thanks.
     
  17. darthvdr

    darthvdr Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    los gatos, ca
    A camera would be nice that is linked to the screen. I have driven my grandkids around another thing I wish was available are head bolsters. I have found my 6 year old grandson falling asleep and just unbuckled himself to lie down as the seats are too upright for him
     
  18. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    The rear seats are optional so I'm not surprised there's no detection (though I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd added it either). I suppose it's akin to expecting the car to alert if you failed to do a buckle on a child's car seat, which would be sort of an insane expectation.

    There's a distinction between driver safety assistance such blind spot detection (and, arguably, seat belt reminders) versus helping someone remember a personal to-do item. It's not the car's job to remind a person they have children in the car...or that they should remember to pick up milk.
     
  19. JST

    JST Active Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,508
    I don't think that there's enough power in the Ryobi with its plastic blades to do any lasting harm, and we've talked about the dangers of fans generally, so I'd hope he'd be smart enough not to poke, but I dunno.

    I do tend to put the 3 yo on the right side of the car, away from the fan and the switch, to minimize these issues.
     
  20. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    811
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    The "child protection lock" setting prevents kids opening the rear doors from the inside, and it also disables the button in the trunk. In any case the button only works in Park, and assuming you have tech pack you can just close the trunk again from the main screen (as long as the kids haven't already run off of course!).
     

Share This Page