Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: Why do cars get dangerously hot in the summer?

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Temperatures will be in the 80s and 90s tomorrow. Even though temperatures are trending downward as we approach fall, it will still be warm enough to keep in mind those heat safety tips.

Even when temperatures fall to the 70s it can still reach dangerous temperatures inside of a vehicle after a few minutes of being out in the sun. As temperatures stay warm through this weekend it is important to remember to check the backseat before you head inside.

The temperature inside the car will climb the most within the first ten minutes, but by that point it is already at a dangerous heat.

The increase in heat inside the car is caused by sunlight hitting the windshield. Some of the light will be reflected, however some of it will be absorbed. The absorbed light will get trapped and heat up the car. The longer the car sits out in the sun, the more the heat compounds and the warmer it will get.

A common misconception is that leaving a window cracked will result in cooling the car. While this is partially true, the temperature within the car can still reach dangerous levels.

The chart below shows deaths in hot cars per year ranging between 24 and 53.

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