The Dangers Of A Hot Vehicle

The inside of a car can be a coffin
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File Graphic(KWTX)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 6:16 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It doesn’t have to be the dog days of summer for a car to reach dangerous interior temperatures.

Our warm season in south Alabama runs from May through September, making for a long summer. During these months, the daily highs can reach into the 90s frequently.

It’s important to consider any impacts the temperature can still have in the winter or spring. An outside air temperature of about 75 can still dangerously heat up a car when in direct sunlight, and we can reach the 70s any month of the year.

Let’s start out with the 70s, and I’m not talking about the decade. Though it doesn’t seem dangerous, warm temperatures between 70 and 75 can create a big problem for anyone left in a car for too long.

A 70 degree outside temperature will bring the inside of a car to just over 100 degrees within half an hour. You wouldn’t want your baby or child sitting in those conditions, or anyone for that matter.

Once the mercury outside rises to 80 degrees, the temperature can turn lethal and fast, with a possible inside temperature near 115 after 30 minutes.

Hot car dangers, 80 degrees
Hot car dangers, 80 degrees(WTVY)

Direct sunlight always makes things worse, and combined with dark seats/interior, the full effects of the heat can be felt.

A higher temperature such as 90 degrees can make the inside of a vehicle a sweltering nightmare, and fatal in most instances if someone is trapped inside.

The inside of your vehicle will surpass 130 degrees within an hour. Even if you have to write a note on your steering wheel to check the back seat, you should. Here is how hot your car can get when the temperature outside hits 90 degrees! These are scary numbers for sure!

Hot car dangers, 90 degrees
Hot car dangers, 90 degrees(WTVY)

Here are some statistics for pediatric hot car deaths in the United States for the last several years.

There are anywhere between 25 and 55 hot car deaths of children in the U.S. on any given year.

Pediatric car deaths
Pediatric car deaths(WTVY)

The bottom line is, remember to check all your seats for anyone when getting out of the car. Nobody wants to be or should be stuck in a hot car. Pets should also be removed when turning off the car.

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