Phoenix dad develops app to prevent hot car deaths

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Hot car deaths are far too common in Arizona. Our state is actually ranked fourth in the nation when it comes to child hot-car deaths, only behind Texas, California and Florida.

But now, a Phoenix father of three has developed an app aimed at preventing deaths of kids left in hot cars.

Erin J. O’Connor is the creator of the BackSeat app.

He came up with the idea after hearing too many stories about kids dying after being left in hot cars.

"If people think it can't happen to them, they're absolutely wrong," he said. "Even the most loving, adoring, crushing, doting parents and grandparents and caretakers, it happens to them every day."

[RELATED: Police: 1-year-old dies after father left her in hot truck ‘all day’]

While 12 children were lost in July 2017 nationwide alone, two of those children were lost on July 28 and 29 in Phoenix. 

[RELATED: 7-month-old boy dies after being left in a hot car in northeast Phoenix]

[RELATED: Baby boy found dead in hot car; 2nd hot car death in two days]

O’Connor says he knew he needed to do something. So he designed The Backseat app.

The Backseat provides a "safety net" of sorts for parents. 

Once your vehicle stops, the app will alert you within three minutes that you may have forgotten your child in the car. After six minutes, you'll get a stream of text messages until you turn it off. 

"I designed an app that will get to these babies way before there's even the slightest bit of bodily damage," he said.

If the alert team is notified, it will also send out the GPS location and the license plate to the vehicle or vehicles you designated.

"I went through every single thing I could think about that would be an issue with creating some type of system and I believe that I have eliminated every one of them," he said.

Backseat has the following features:

  • 1. Is 100% free. 
  • 2. Doesn't utilize Bluetooth technology.
  • 3. Doesn't require hardware installation. 
  • 4. Doesn't require any sophisticated processes. 
  • 5. Wakes up automatically when it senses a set vehicle speed. 
  • 6. Takes less than 5 minutes to install and set up on your smart device. 
  • 7. Alerts to the user are set up to be a graduating level of alerting to attract the most attention to the user/caretaker of the children. 
  • 8. Doesn't require the user to turn it on and off. 
  • 9. Is the only known system that will automatically alert others of your possible need for help. 
  • 10. Features customizable settings based on your lifestyle. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.