AS A science fiction buff, I'm very familiar with the concept of unintended consequences of technology.
But as anyone who's still working out how to use a smartphone, online banking or GPS knows, unfamiliar technology can be scary and occasionally dangerous.
It's a terrifying situation that no parent ever wants to be in, and each vehicle is different in how auto locking works.
Some require the driver's door to be physically opened within 60 seconds of being unlocked, which is about the time it takes to belt a child into a restraint, close their door, walk to your side of the car to get in and…you're locked out.
Most vehicles still lock if the button is pressed from inside, so you're almost asking for trouble by letting your child play with the keys.
RACQ patrols are called out to an average of four children locked in cars each day and almost every single one of them is purely accidental. That's nearly 1500 a year - unintentional consequences indeed.
Check your owner's manual for the specifics of your model and always keep hold of your keys to be safe.
If a child is locked in a car, keep calm and call RACQ (13 1111) immediately or emergency services (000) if you have concerns about their medical condition.
For more information, check out RACQ's Kids Locked in Cars video at: www.youtube.com/racqofficial
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