Deadly Hot Cars – Turn Off Your Air Conditioner

Every year, animals and people are killed by cars. I’m not talking about car accidents or pedestrians being hit. I’m talking about being left inside a car after the air conditioner has been turned off.

Most of those that die are pets and children. In some cases, the driver “only dashed into the store for something.” At other times, they are left for longer periods while the driver is off doing something else. Either way, it can be deadly.

The problem is heat. Even if all of the windows are cracked, a car can become an oven very quickly. Under the right conditions, a car can reach one hundred sixty degrees. That’s cooking temperature.

There have been a lot of studies done. There are a lot of different charts available on-line to show how fast a car can heat up. At 80 degrees, it can hit 87 in five minutes. After an hour…just at 80 outside…it can hit 127.

I watched a newscaster testing how long he could stay in an enclosed car. We live in Southern California, and the temperatures hit triple digits regularly. In this case, I believe it was 90 outside. In ten minutes, the car was 110. That was all he could handle. Imagine a baby, an elder or a dog? All three have difficulties controlling how they react to heat.

In most states there are laws on the books about leaving a pet, child or a dependent elder in a hot car. Passersby are encouraged to break the car’s windows if necessary. The police will be called, the person or pet will be taken care of (and likely not returned). The driver or other responsible adult(s) will be charged.

It is important to remember this information, especially when dealing with unusually hot weather on unlikely places. Leave the kids, pets and grandparents home if you can’t take them in with you when you get to your destination.


Albena Anis

Albena Maxwell manages our Sports & Fitness, Outdoors and Automotive categories. When he's not writing and researching products, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and traveling.

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