Hot weather means dangerously hot cars

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – It’s that time of year when the interiors of cars and trucks heat up in a hurry. Think of it as a type of greenhouse effect. Sunlight passes through the windows of a car and when the temperature is already in the 80s or above…that means the inside of a car heats up to a dangerous, even deadly temperature quickly. As a matter of fact, on a day that’s 85 degrees, the inside of a car can reach 104 degrees in just ten minutes. That’s a dangerous temperature for any adult but it’s even more harmful to children and animals.

And if you think 104 degrees is hot, after one hour, the same car can reach 128 degrees! So how about “cracking” the window…leaving it down a couple of inches to let some air circulate? Even that isn’t helpful. On a 95-degree day, after just ten minutes, the temperature inside a car with the windows down about an inch or two would still reach 109 degrees. Although that’s a few degrees cooler than a car that’s completely closed up, it is still in the danger zone. After an hour, there isn’t even a difference in the temperature of a closed car compared to one with the windows cracked. They would both register a lethal 135 degrees.

To reduce the risk of leaving a child in a hot car, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests putting a child’s toy or other belonging in the front seat where it can be easily seen when you get out of your car. It will serve as a reminder there is someone important in the back seat, since children may be quiet (or sleeping) when you get to your destination.