By and large, vehicle owners tend to underestimate the perils of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, simply because they’re unaware of it until it can sometimes be too late. In automotive-related scenarios, such incidences are related to a leaking exhaust, primarily occurring in stationary vehicles that have their engine – and air-conditioner – running.
Because CO generally has no odour or taste, occupants don’t usually realise what’s happening, more so when napping in the vehicle. The consequences can be fatal. However, such incidences can also occur in vehicles on the move, as was the case yesterday when a family of four, including two children, were found unconscious in an MPV which crashed into a westbound Bentong toll booth barrier, as Bernama reports.
In the incident, which occurred at 2.40 pm, the vehicle came to a stop at a toll booth concrete barrier after colliding with it, with the occupants all unconscious. Police personnel conducting an Ops Selamat patrol as well as toll booth staff, with the assistance of members of the public, managed to get the victims out.
According to Bentong police chief Superintendent Zaiham Mohd Kahar, the family of four were on their way from Tok Bali, Kelantan to Balakong, Selangor, and a medical examination following the mishap confirmed they passed out due to a lack of oxygen. “The condition caused the vehicle to crash into the toll barrier,” he said, adding that all four occupants regained consciousness and were not in danger.
The potential danger of CO poisoning should not be underestimated, and not just with older vehicles, where an exhaust leak is more likely to happen. It can also happen in newer cars, as indicated last year by national institute of occupational safety and health (NIOSH) vice-chairman Senator Datuk T. Mohan.
He said the general impression that CO leakages can only happen in old vehicles is not true because it can also happen in new vehicles. He said that gas leaks can occur from the exhaust and enter the passenger cabin without anyone realising.
“Symptoms of poisoning can be detected with early signs such as temperature changes in the cabin and nausea. If there are any of these signs, the windows should be opened immediately in addition to the air conditioning and the engine should also be turned off immediately,” he said then.
So, if you’re going to take a rest at a R&R area, please don’t nap with the engine and AC running. If you’re in the car with the engine idling or moving slowly in heavy traffic conditions, and start encountering nausea, dizziness or a headache, among other things, wind down all the windows and, when it’s safe to do so, get out of the vehicle. Stay safe, folks.
The post MPV crashes into Bentong toll barrier after occupants pass out due to carbon monoxide poisoning appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.
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