Beat the Heat in Your Car

Beat the Heat in Your Car

Steps to Keep Children, Pets Out of Danger
AAA Staff
two kids in a car

It's back to school season, which means the summer is coming to an end. However, that doesn't mean that hot temperatures, and hot cars, are a thing of the past.

Since 1998, 917 children have died from pediatric vehicular heatstroke, including at least ten deaths already reported this year in the U.S. While an overwhelming majority of these deaths are accidental, such tragedies are often preventable.

Temperatures inside of a car, even on a moderately sunny day, can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Children are particularly at risk of suffering from heatstroke since their bodies heat up five times faster than adults.

Children and heat

  • Never leave a child unattended in a car, even for a minute, even if the windows are tinted or down. The same recommendation applies to pets and the elderly.
  • Parked cars: always keep doors locked and windows closed, even when the vehicle is in a garage or on a driveway. Make sure keys are safely out of reach so children can’t enter a car to play.
  • Make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Be certain no one is inadvertently left behind.
  • When you first place a child in a car seat in the back seat of a car, also place your cell phone, purse, or important belongings back there to serve as visual reminders that a child is in the back seat as you exit the vehicle. 
  • If you see a child alone in a parked car, immediately call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.

Pets and heat

  • When it comes to pets and heat, it’s best to leave them at home while running errands on hot days. Dogs can’t sweat like humans, causing them to overheat much faster. Rolling down the window does very little to keep them comfortable. 

Cars and heat

  • Most drivers think battery problems occur primarily in winter, but heat can negatively impact your car’s battery even more than the bitter cold of winter. Learn more at
  • Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating - proper cooling system maintenance is vital to keep the engine cool.
  • Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. 
  • Cars need fluids during extreme heat, too - drivers should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels.

Crime and heat

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, summer's prove to be the worst season for vehicle theft. With increased reports of stolen cars this year, it's important to take security measures like not leaving your vehicle running while unattended and keeping your car locked when parked.


For the best protection, be sure to have comprehensive car insurance in the case that your car is stolen, damaged, or vandalized. Find a great policy today with AAA Insurance. 

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