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Hot vehicle hazards: How to protect property and passengers from rising temperatures

Date Posted: May 30th, 2017


From: Westfield Insurance (www.westfieldinsurance.com)

Hot weather brings high temperatures, which can turn an enclosed vehicle into a scorching oven in minutes. Combining hot summer sun and carelessness can have devastating consequences, particularly for your company’s products – and its people.

Studies show that an enclosed vehicle on a sunny 93-degree day will reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit within 20 minutes. After 40 minutes, the temperature can exceed 140 degrees, hot enough to burn skin.

And cracking  the windows open 1 ½ inches doesn’t have much effect, because doing so only lowers the temperature a few degrees. Here are some ways to minimize hot vehicle hazards.

Choose light-reflecting colors. The color of a vehicle’s interior and exterior is the biggest factor in determining its interior temperature while sitting in the sun. Lighter colors reflect more light, creating a lower temperature than dark colors. If you live or work in a hot, sunny climate, choose a lighter interior and exterior color for your vehicle. A white car with a tan interior, for example, will retain less heat than a black on black option.

Alert passengers to potentially hot surfaces. If you have a passenger, warn that person if any interior fixtures — door handles, leather seats, seat belt buckles, the dashboard  — are likely to be hot. And the steering wheel can be hot, as well; draping a towel over it can make a difference. Or for a longer-term solution, if the vehicle doesn’t come with a padded wheel, wrap it with a leather cover.

Never leave electronics in a hot vehicle. Laptop computers are sensitive to heat, and excessive heat can damage the processor, the screen and the battery. If the temperature will be above 90 degrees, find a cooler location. Take electronic devices with you when you exit your vehicle to keep them from overheating. If you do leave an electronic device in a hot vehicle, allow it to cool to room temperature before operating it.

Store company property in the trunk. When carrying product samples or other company materials, keep them out of the sun. Consider putting items in the trunk, which can be up to 10 degrees cooler than the interior.

The simplest way to minimize hot car risks is an obvious one — park your vehicle in the shade. Not only will this help ensure a cooler interior, it can extend the life of your vehicle’s interior and exterior finish, and keep your vehicle looking good.

Contact your trusted independent insurance agency Wollam-Grand Valley Insurance 440-437-6162 or www.wollamgv.com


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