Don’t let the fall temperatures fool you - your car is still dangerously hot!

Be cautious as cooler temperatures start to move in this fall.

Don’t let the fall temperatures fool you - your car is still dangerously hot!

The beauty of fall will soon surround us. It is a time when temperatures cool and we begin to brush off all thoughts of summer. For most of the country, fall temperatures are generally cool in the morning and they warm up significantly by afternoon. That chill in the air may lead some people to think that the interior of their cars are not as hot as they would in the summer months. This is false!

Fall weather can still be a threat!

  • According to Weatherbase, the average U.S. fall temperature for all 50 states is 65.2 degrees Fahrenheit and 77.4 Fahrenheit is the average high temperature. 
  • When outside temperatures are in the 60 degree range it will cause a car temperature to rise well above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research shows that our car windows act like a greenhouse, trapping sunlight and heat making the inside of the car much hotter than the air outside. 
  • Rolling down the window 2 inches or even half way, won’t help cool off the interior temperature.

The danger of a heated car is real and fast.

  • In warm weather, a vehicle can warm to dangerous, life-threatening levels in only 10 minutes.
  • The temperature inside the car does not have to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit for a person to be at risk. Both one’s general health and/or lifestyle may increase a person’s chance of suffering a heat-related illness.
  • (This is about the cold, the whole article is about heat?)The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that very high body temperatures can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, as well as heat stroke or death. 

More safety tips:

  • Lock your cars while at home. Children have died from getting into cars for whatever reason by getting confused and becoming trapped inside the vehicle.
  • Check the car seat! Have a routine when transporting children so no child is left unintentionally in the car. Use notes, colored stickers or some type of reminder system so when you exit your car you check the backseat car seat.

Always be aware of the law.

  • To learn about your state’s laws regarding unattended pets in vehicles, you can check your state’s vehicle code, contact your local DMV, and/or contact any local law enforcement agency.

For more information on health and wellness visit Michigan State University Extension at

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