Summer is here and even though West Texas weather can be unpredictable, one thing is certain: scorching temperatures will find their home in Lubbock, Texas.
Although heatstroke isn’t the leading cause of car related child deaths, an average of 38 children die each year while trapped in overheated cars. When running a “quick” errand, it can be tempting to leave a child or pet in the car, especially if you can just roll down the windows, right? Wrong. “Even leaving the windows down for just 10 minutes can cause an elevation in temperature,” so just because you roll down the windows, doesn’t mean it’s an effective safety precaution. According to CNN, “on a pleasant 75-degree day, the inside of your car can heat up to 90 degrees in just two minutes.” And within 20 minutes, the inside temperature can rise to 104 degrees. After an hour, they can rise to 120 degrees.
Even if you keep the air conditioner running, compressors and engines fail and dogs can inadvertently press buttons and switches. Don’t risk your child or animal’s life for convenience sake.
Regardless, leaving a child unattended in a car is a crime that is punishable under the Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 22, Section 10:
Sec. 22.10. LEAVING A CHILD IN A VEHICLE. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is:
- (1) younger than seven years of age; and
- (2) not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older.
- (b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
Leaving a child unattended in a car is also a form of neglectful supervision that is investigated by Child Protective Services.
Regarding leaving an animal in a car, there are not any statutes in Texas that make leaving a pet in a parked car or truck illegal. This does not mean that those who do so will not be held accountable for their actions. Texas DOES have an animal cruelty law that can be applicable in cases regarding leaving a pet in a hot car.
This summer, think twice before you leave a child or pet in the car.
At Collision King Auto Repair, we care about your well-being. If you have any more questions about car safety, give us a call!