The Facts

  • According to the organization Kids and Cars, there were 32 reports of children dying due to their bodies overheating in a hot car in 2014.
  • According to PETA, animals can sustain brain damage or die of heatstroke in just 15 minutes of being trapped in a car.
  • Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are locked in overheating vehicles.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving for a few minutes. Vehicles can rapidly reach temperatures that puts any pets left inside at high risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem so hot to you. What if the windows are cracked? It makes no difference.

How Hot it Feels Vs. How Hot it Really Is

The temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F. The longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

A study performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light gray minivan parked on a hot, but partly cloudy day, exceeded 125oF within 20 minutes.

Table of Car Air Temperature

The Penalties

A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child younger than 6 years of age may not leave such child unattended or unsupervised in a motor vehicle.

  • A child may not be left unattended in the vehicle for longer than 15 minutes.
  • If a child is left alone in poor conditions, the person responsible may be charged between $50 and $500, and may be charged with misdemeanor.
  • In some cases, the child may be taken and The child shall be remanded to the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

The Bill That Allows People to Help

This is why Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that allows passers-by to break into a vehicle if a person or animal on the inside is believed to be in danger.

Individuals may be absolved from being sued for breaking into locked vehicles as long as they have done the following:

  • Checked to make sure the vehicle is actually locked.
  • Have a reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstance, that entering into the vehicle is necessary because the vulnerable person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.
  • Called 911 or law enforcement either before or immediately after breaking into the vehicle.
  • Use only the necessary amount of force to break in.
  • Remain with the person, child or animal until first-respondents arrive on the scene.

Sources: The American Veterinary Medical Association, The Weather Channel, Miami Herald News

If your pet or someone you know has suffered injury due to an accident, call us at 1-800-INJURED, so we can help you make things easier during stressful times. Our network can connect you with a Miami Car Accident attorneys who has over 35 years of experience, and knows how to get the most out of your benefits. Call us today, so you have a helping hand during the post-accident process.


Category: Car Accidents, Personal Injury