Summers in the Carolinas bring heat and humidity along with scorching temperatures that can not only wreak havoc on your vehicle, but harm the passengers inside. Always remember: if you think it’s hot outside, it is always going to be MUCH hotter in your car!
Most people aren’t aware that heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of 14, with an average of 37 fatalities per year since 1998. Another major fact: there has been an increase in child vehicular heat stroke deaths every year since 2015. Even when it’s not too hot outside, again, always remember: it can get extremely hot inside your vehicle in just a matter of minutes.
AAA wants to prompt both parents and caregivers to look before you lock and pledge to never forget your child in the car. These vehicular-heat related statistics are important to keep in mind:
- A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s body
- A child can die of heat stroke on a 72-degree day
- On a 95-degree day a car can heat up to over 180-degrees
- The steering wheel can reach 159 degrees (temperature for cooking medium rare meat)
- The seats can reach 162 degrees (temperature for cooking ground beef)
- The dash can reach 181 degrees (temperature for cooking poultry)
- At 104-degrees internal organs start to shut down
AAA urges motorists to ACT at all times:
- A—Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child in the car alone, not even for a minute.
- C—Create electronic reminders or put something in the backseat you need when exiting the car. For example, a cell phone, purse, wallet, briefcase or shoes. Always lock your car and never leave car keys or car remote where children can get to them.
- T—Take action and immediately call 9-1-1- if you notice a child unattended in a car.