Don’t Endanger Your Child: GMC’s Life Saving Rear Seat Reminder

Rear Seat Reminder
The visual rear seat reminder in the 2017 GMC Acadia. Credit: GM

Avert tragedy with the 2017 GMC Acadia rear seat reminder.

Every summer, we read tragic stories about a baby accidentally left in a car when a parent forgot he was back there. It’s easy to judge that parent from afar, and state that this could never happen to you, but the reality is that parents are often rushing around and can momentarily forget about the napping infant in the back seat.

Innovative safety technology: how it works

But the 2017 GMC Acadia has a unique feature that could make such mistakes a thing of the past. The rear seat reminder monitors the SUV’s rear doors; it activates when either rear door is opened and closed within 10 minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is running. So if you put your child, or your dog (dogs can also meet gruesome ends when they are forgotten in a hot car) in the backseat, your car will know.

Then, when you turn the GMC off, five audible chimes sound and this message scrolls in the diver information center: “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat.”

 Rear Seat ReminderThink this reminder isn’t really necessary? Think again.

According to the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science, over half the heatstroke deaths of children in cars occurred because they were accidentally left behind. Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide said, “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 system can’t detect what you placed in the back seat, so you might get this warning if you opened a rear door to put your dry cleaning in, or a birthday cake for your office manager, and you can turn the system off if you never have children or animals riding in the back seat. But if you do, even rarely, this is the sort of innovative safety technology that makes you say, “Why didn’t they think of this before?”

The rear seat reminder is standard on all trim levels of the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia, but not on the 2017 GMC Acadia Limited. It will be offered on future GM cars.

Judy Antell, who is's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell