Attorney Greg Zele Calls Rollaway Keyless Ignition System’s Hidden Danger for Florida’s Senior Drivers

Zele Huber Trial Attorneys, called upon Florida’s senior drivers to be extra vigilant when operating vehicles equipped with the widely present keyless ignition system. Attorney Greg Zele’s calls come after the Palm Beach Post reported Palm Beach County leads the country in keyless ignition deaths. He points out the statistic tells just part of the story, addressing only deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning when vehicles were left running in a closed space. The study did not address death and serious injury from rollaway.

A rollaway occurs when the vehicle, still in neutral or drive, and the driver, key in hand, pocket or purse, exits the vehicle and forgets to turn it off. Older drivers are hardwired by decades of experience to associate a vehicle’s key removal with the ritual of placing the vehicle in park. Enabling key removal without the need to place the car in park creates the dangerous circumstance when rollaway can occur.

Zele went on to say, I know people who have done this. They feel the car begin to roll and then quickly jump in, push the brake and complete the vehicle shutdown. Many 70 and 80 something year-olds no longer possess the quick reaction time and agility to complete the maneuver.Zele went on to say, Florida has no shortage of these drivers. In a December 2015 press release, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) noted, Florida has 3.7 million adults over the age of 65, who in 2014 represented 20 percent of Florida’s licensed driving population.

The Palm Beach Post deserves a lot of credit for highlighting one of the dangers inherent with keyless ignition systems. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very real issue. And I believe the Post’s recent article is an excellent and welcome reminder to be vigilant when parking in one’s residential garage. Greg Zele continued, My hope is to shed light on another danger, one specifically treacherous for Florida’s senior driving population. Rollaway happens. It injures and may one day kill someone too slow to react in time to halt the still rolling vehicle. Zele also suspects that rollaway incidents are severely under reported due to embarrassment.