Staying safe in the heat

Published 6:51 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

As people are out enjoying summertime activities and vacation, it’s a good time to remember some important safety tips while out driving in the heat.

July is typically the most deadly month for children being left in hot cars. In North Carolina from 1990 to 2017, 33 infants and children died after being left in vehicles.

To help reduce the chances of this happening, motorists should:

  • Look before locking. Get into the habit of checking the back seats before locking the vehicle and walking away;
    Leave a reminder by putting a stuffed toy or memento in the front seat that the child is seated in the back;
  • Keep keys out of children’s reach. Nearly three in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.

These safety tips also apply when traveling with pets. A dog can die of heatstroke in just 15 minutes.

Additionally, drivers should check their tire pressure before hitting the road. It’s best to do this when the tires have been sitting and are cold for an accurate reading. Window shades are an inexpensive way to keep the car’s interior cooler in extreme heat in a vehicle to deter hot surfaces. Additionally, to prevent overheating, drivers should check a vehicle’s fluids and coolant on a regular basis and get it inspected by a mechanic before long trips.