Hot Car

Hot Cars + Kids and Pets Don't Mix! 

Every summer there are news reports of children or pets left alone in cars in warm temperatures, with tragic results. Each year, about 37 children die from being left unattended in hot cars. As we approach summer, keep in mind that temperatures inside your vehicle will rise: up to 19 degress in ten minutes, and up to 30 degrees in 20 minutes. 

Even if it's 70 degrees outside, the interior of the car can climb to almost 100 degrees in a short time.

Leaving the windows cracked has little or no effect. The car’s interior experiences a “greenhouse effect,” where the sun’s heat gets trapped inside the vehicle. Paint color, upholstery, window tinting and more contribute more heat to the interior.

Children’s bodies are especially vulnerable, because they don’t regulate heat like adults do.  (Pets are even more susceptible…their sweat glands are inadequate for cooling during hot days -- brain and organ damage can happen after just 15 minutes). Heatstroke can happen within minutes.

Never, ever leave your child or your pet in your car unattended. Never assume you’ll be “in and out” of a store in just a few minutes. Never underestimate how quickly the temperatures inside a car can rise, regardless of the outside temperatures. If you see a child or a pet alone inside a hot vehicle, always call 911. 

VIDEO:

AAA Northeast Traffic Safety Manager Diana Imondi discusses summer car seat safety. 

 

Broken Down

Three Hot Tips for Summer Car Care

Road trips are one of the joys of summer…there’s nothing like cruising with the windows down and the sun on your face. But you can’t have a memorable road trip without making sure your vehicle is in top “summer shape.”

1.     The summer heat can cause battery fluids to evaporate, which can damage to the structure.  Older batteries may be more susceptible. Batteries have a typical lifespan of 3 -5 years, so you should have your battery tested at the three-year mark, and annually moving forward.

2.     Tire pressure increases as temperatures rise. Add a hot roadway to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for tire disaster. Keep an eye on your tires…look for cracking, bulging or breaks, which can cause blowouts. Note that newer cars have Tire Pressure Monitoring systems, but those only indicate low pressure, not high pressure. A visual check is always best.

3.     Check your coolant levels – it contains anti-corrosion chemicals to help protect your engine from the stress of summer heat.

More Summer car care advice can be found at Your AAA.

Motorcycle

Motorcycle Safety

Summer brings more motorcycles on our roads, along with increased responsibilities for both drivers and bikers. Tragically, the number of motorcycle fatalities increases each year, totaling 13% of all road deaths in 2016.  Use of helmets – whether mandated by state law or not – can reduce injury and death, but there are a few tips that can reduce the danger.

 

  • Wear the proper gear: a helmet, eye protection, footwear, gloves, and bright, reflective riding apparel.

  • Make sure your lights are working and clearly visible: headlights, taillights, turn signals and stop lamps.

  • If you’re a new rider, enroll in a motorcycle safety course. It will help you learn to ride properly. If you’re an experienced rider, this same course will refresh or enhance your existing skills. And, you might even save on your insurance.
  • Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other motor vehicle. Give a motorcycle the full lane width and never share a lane.

  • Give motorcyclists the time and space to safely maneuver in traffic, particularly as they make turns, cross intersections and change lanes.

  • Be aware. A motorcycle’s smaller profile makes it hard to see, especially in low light, at night, or at higher speeds.

  • Allow more following distance – at least 3 to 4 seconds – when behind a motorcycle. Tailgating a bike can unsettle a rider, leading to a loss of control…or worse. 

State by State Close Up

State Motorcyclists killed in 2016 Helmet law in effect?
RI 4 No
MA 42 Yes
NY 134 Yes
NJ 71 Yes
CT 52 No