Why you never want to leave a living creature inside a hot car

Your car is an Easy Bake Oven on wheels.

When it’s parked in the sun, the inside temperature sky rockets within minutes. It seems like common sense that you wouldn’t leave a living creature inside a hot car. Sadly, stories like thisthis and this happen far too often.

So what makes your car such a sauna? The following explains why you NEVER want to leave a child, pet, armadillo, etcetera inside a hot car.

CarTempExplainer
Courtesy: General Motors and San Francisco State University

Vehicles are efficient at two things: absorbing & trapping the sun’s radiation. Shortwave radiation heats up dark objects like dashboards, seats and steering wheels in a short amount of time. These objects release longwave radiation, which can’t escape. With no place to go within the car’s cabin, temperatures continue to climb the longer the sun beats down.

In Tucson, where temperatures soar to 100° 62 times a year, the inside car temp climbs roughly 20° in just 10 minutes! Even with an outside air temperature of 80°, the inside of a car can heat up to as much as 123° in an hour. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out these kinds of temperatures are not suited for living creatures.

As the NOAA slogan goes: beat the heat, check the back seat. Place a cell phone, purse, or other object of significant value to you in the seat next to your child. Do anything to avoid making a fatal lapse in judgment. When it comes to children and pets left unattended in hot cars, it shouldn’t be that hard to achieve a goal of zero deaths every single year.

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