Trunk Safety

Posted at: 07/18/2013 9:31 PM | Updated at: 07/18/2013 10:20 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

The tragic ending in the search for a missing 2-year-old boy in western Wisconsin has Eyewitness News asking, how do you get out of a trunk if you or perhaps one of your kids were to get stuck inside?

We stopped by NorthStar Ford in Duluth. The trunk pull-release featured inside all Ford sedans was designed with kids in mind.

"It's a pull cable release mechanism," said accessories manager, Kevin Dingman. "They developed that with child experts and found that children are inclined to pull rather than push."

The pull-release is T-shaped and glows in the dark. It also has an image printed on it showing how it works.

Dingman said Ford started offering trunk releases as a standard safety feature on all their models back in 2000. One year later, a glow-in-the-dark trunk release became federal regulation for all new vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says if your car is older than 2001 or doesn't have a trunk release, you should ask your dealership about getting retrofitted with a release mechanism.

The NHTSA also posted these precautions to their website:

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars. Teach them that vehicle trunks are for cargo, not for playing.
  • Always supervise your children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
  • Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
  • Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.

For more information go to the NHTSA website at


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