Hot Cars and Loose Pets

Hot Cars and Loose Pets

As the hot Tennessee summer is rapidly approaching, please take a moment to read some statistics about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars or leaving them unrestrained while the vehicle is in motion.

Brutus, Duke, Coco, Lola and Jake…sure, they’re fairly common pet names, but they’re also the names of just a few of the pets that died last year because they were left in cars on warm (and not necessarily hot) days while their owners were shopping, visiting friends or family, or running errands. What’s so tragic is that these beloved pets were simply the victims of bad judgment.

Want numbers? An independent study1 showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. And cracking the windows doesn’t help.

Elapsed time Temperature rise inside vehicle
10 minutes 19°F
20 minutes 29°F
30 minutes 34°F
60 minutes 43°F
1 to 2 hours 45-50°F
Take a look at this clip demonstrating the elevating heat factor in an idle and unattended vehicle.

 View an animated video of the temperature rise in a car over time.
(Courtesy ggweather.com/heat)

A pedestrian walking who sees the pet in an unattended vehicle may be inclined to break the window to retrieve the pet. In most cases, the pedestrian would not be held responsible for the damages to the vehicle.

Add to that the fact that most pets are not properly restrained while in the car, and you’ve got some dangerous situations – for people and pets alike. Unrestrained pets can be seriously or fatally injured, or could even hurt you, in a collision or sudden braking situation. In addition, they’re a distraction for the driver, which increases the risk of driver errors. According to a 2010 American Automobile Association (AAA) survey, 2 out of 3 owners engage in distracting behaviors (playing with, feeding or petting their dog, or letting their dog sit in their lap) when pets are in the car…and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 20% of injury crashes involve distracted driving.

Please don’t become another statistic: only take your pets in the vehicle with you when you absolutely need to, and always properly restrain your pets while in the vehicle.

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