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State warns deaf community about keyless ignition vehicles after Lexington carbon monoxide death

A vehicle with keyless ignition (Photo: WKYT)
A vehicle with keyless ignition (Photo: WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 6:17 PM EDT
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Advocates in Kentucky are urging the deaf community to know about the potential dangers of keyless ignition vehicles after a Lexington woman died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning earlier this month.

Friends tell WKYT Connie Dotson died when she accidentally left her car with keyless ignition running in the garage while she slept inside her home. The coroner's office said it is possible that was the cause of her death.

The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing said this isn't the first time this has happened, and it likely won't be the last.

"The one feature my car has to notify me that it's running without the fob is this very little bitty light that you can barely see in my car, and of course it's not something you see clearly, and I don't hear it -- I'm profoundly deaf," said KCDHH information coordinator Blake Noland.

Many cars start with the turn of the key and roar of the engine, but for those hard of hearing, it becomes less apparent when a car is left running. The state has started looking into the issue closer after the death of one of its advocates.

Advocates learned others have lost their lives because of similar circumstances, and now they want car manufacturers to make it easier to know the car is shut off when someone isn't inside.

"When you have a fob that will recognize me in the car and when I walk out, why doesn't just the ignition shut down? Why isn't that a safety feature when the fob is away from the car?" Noland asked.

Some in the deaf community say they are scared to park in garages for this very reason.

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