hot cars

SGTs. Daniel Roberson, left, and London Ivey talk with a passerby about the dangers of leaving children in cars. The car was supplied by Hillsborough Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

With recent local temperatures tipping into the 90’s, the temperature in a stopped vehicle becomes even more deadly. Nationally, an average of 39 children die each year from heatstroke in cars, including record a record number of 53 deaths in 2018, and a near-record number of 52 deaths in 2019.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. Safe Kids and Hillsborough Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram teamed up for an educational event at Cedar Grove Community Center to show how quickly an average car can become a deadly “hot car.”

Sergeant’s Daniel Roberson and London Ivey withstood 90-degree temps and talked with passersby about the dangers of leaving children, the elderly and pets in cars. 

“It’s even overcast,” SGT. Ivey said, “and it’s already at 118 degrees in the car. 

SGT. Roberson explained that one thermometer is placed underneath the car in a shaded area, and a second thermometer is placed inside the car on the dash.

“It’s important for people to know how quickly the temperature goes up in a closed vehicle,” SGT. Roberson said. “It took only 10 minutes to go from 90 degrees to 119 degrees.”

The Hillsborough Police Dept. had the Hot Car set up the day before.

“It took 20 minutes to get to 157 degrees in the car,” said SGT. Ivey.

The display and equipment are provided by the Orange County branch of N.C. Safe Kids, and has been set up in other areas and used by groups including the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police Departments.

SGTs. Ivey and Roberson said they hoped people would remember the acronym A.C.T. when traveling with children, the elderly or pets in their vehicles. A.C.T. stands for:

• Avoid heatstroke-related injury;

• Create reminders;

• Take action

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