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Trunk Entrapment

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Trunk entrapment is a serious and potentially deadly hazard that can occur when someone becomes trapped in the trunk of a car. While this situation can happen to anyone, children are especially vulnerable due to their size and curiosity.

Trunk Releases

Thanks to the hard work of Kids and Car Safety now all new vehicles come with a trunk release inside the trunk as a standard feature, and there has not been one documented fatality in the trunk of a vehicle with a trunk release. NOT ONE!

All vehicles 2002 and newer come equipped with a glow-in-the-dark trunk release that allows you to escape if you become trapped inside the trunk of a vehicle. If your vehicle is older than model year 2002, you likely do NOT have this feature. Read the trunk release regulation Kids and Car Safety’s founder and president survived a trunk entrapment incident with her family in 1995. This was the impetus for making sure this life-saving safety feature in all vehicles and the formation of Kids and Car Safety. Read her story here.

Have a car model year 2001 or older?

Available at our ‘Store‘ are easy-to-install trunk release kits for only $4.99 that can be installed on your older vehicle. The kit is easy to install using common tools.

Hundreds of people have died trapped inside the trunk of a vehicle, many of which are children. Here is a closer look at the dangers of trunk entrapment and what can be done to stay safe.

Trunk entrapment can be caused by a variety of factors, including a malfunctioning latch or lock, a trunk that is difficult to open from the inside, or a trunk that is damaged or corroded. In some cases, trunk entrapment can also occur as a result of criminal activity, such as kidnapping or carjacking.

Safety Tips

  • If you have a vehicle older than 2002, install an aftermarket trunk release from Kids and Car Safety’s online store.
  • Never leave a child alone in or around vehicles, not even for a minute.
  • Never leave your car keys or fobs where children can access them.
  • Always make sure your car is locked so that children cannot access a car unsupervised. Children have been known to access a car trunk from the back seat in vehicles that contain a pass-through rear seat feature. A section of the vertical seat back that folds forward to allow an opening between the rear cargo area and the rear seating area.
  • Do not underestimate your children's capabilities. If there is a way in, they will find it.
  • If a child goes missing, check the inside, floor board and trunk of all vehicles in the area, even if they’re locked.
  • Teach your children about the dangers of a car, especially the car trunk.
  • Arm your children with the facts. Teach them that they should never get into a vehicle without an adult. If your child is put into the trunk, make sure that they know how to escape.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially at night and in isolated areas. Watch for suspicious people or vehicles when you get into and out of your car.
  • Take the key out of the ignition, roll the windows up tight, and lock the doors whenever you park, even if only for a minute. Locks are your first line of defense.
  • If someone suspicious approaches your car, drive away quickly, but safely. Be wary of people asking for directions or change, or handing out fliers. Teach children adults never need a child’s help and if a stranger approaches them to scream and run away.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent trunk entrapment and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm. Remember, trunk entrapment can happen in an instant, so it's important to always be vigilant and take steps to reduce the risk of this potentially deadly hazard.

Real Life Stories

The trunk of a vehicle may seem like the perfect hiding spot for an innocent game of “hide-and-go-seek.” However, children do not understand how quickly the temperature inside the trunk of a vehicle can rise. These tragic stories are about children who became trapped inside the trunk of a vehicle and were not found until it was too late.

michael esposito markley mcdaniel chandler janette fennell
Michael Esposito Curtis & Virginia Markley Houston & Hunter McDaniel Philip Clayton Chandler Janette Fennell

Trunk Entrapment Studies

Learn more about trunk entrapment through studies specific to trunk entrapment injuries and deaths.
New Study Released on Nontraffic Injuries and Fatalities in Young Children - 9/27/2017
Fatal Car Trunk Entrapment Involving Children, United States 1987-1998
The Power of Survivor Advocacy: making car trunks escapable
Children dying in car trunks: how adequate are child death databases?

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