AAA offers tips to prevent tragedies involving hot cars, children and pets – WYSH AM 1380

(AAA – The Auto Club Group) With forecasts calling temperatures in the 90s for parts of the state this week, AAA urges motorists to keep their children, pets and vehicles safe during what is expected to be one of the most warmer so far this summer.

“In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees and become deadly,” said Megan Cooper, a spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We urge parents and caregivers not to underestimate the risks that excessive heat can present and to understand that deaths from hot cars are preventable.”

According to NoHeatstroke.orgOn average, 38 children die from heatstroke inside hot vehicles each year across the country. Despite warnings from safety organizations every year, children continue to die from this preventable tragedy.

AAA-The Auto Club Group provides the following safety tips to help keep children safe:

  • Don’t leave children alone, even for short periods of time: Never leave children alone in a vehicle, even if the windows are open or the air conditioning is on.
  • Teach children that vehicles are not playgrounds: Do not allow children to play in an unattended vehicle. Teach your children that a vehicle is not an appropriate hiding place to play hide-and-seek.
  • Keep your vehicle locked – lock your vehicle doors and trunk even in driveways and garages, and keep keys out of the reach of children.
  • Get into the habit of checking your vehicle Before you lock your vehicle and drive away, get in the habit of always checking the front and rear seats.
  • Create caregiver reminders: If you normally leave your child at a babysitter or daycare, ask the caregiver to call you if your child doesn’t show up as expected.
  • Add reminders in your vehicle- Put your purse, wallet, or cell phone in the back seat. This way, you are reminded to look in the back seat before exiting the vehicle. You can also have a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat. When your child is with you, move them to the front seat as a reminder that your child is in the back.
  • call for help – If you see a child or pet alone in a locked car, immediately call 911 and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.

High temperatures in a vehicle can also put your pets at risk. Never leave an animal in a parked car, even if the windows are partially open. Even on nice days, your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk.

Extreme heat can also pose risks to your vehicle. AAA recommends drivers review these five key areas to help your vehicle safely survive higher temperatures:

1. Battery

  • Mount the battery securely in place to minimize vibration.
  • Clean any corrosive buildup from the battery terminals and cable clamps.
  • Make sure the clamps are tight enough so they don’t move.
  • If a car battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last.
    • If the battery needs to be replaced, the technician can usually replace it on site. For more information on AAA mobile battery service, visit

2. Engine coolant

  • Flush the system and replace the coolant periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Check your owner’s manual to determine the proper service interval for a vehicle.
  • Inspect hoses and drive belts for cracks, soft spots, or other signs of poor condition.
  • Replace worn parts.

3. Tires

  • Check the tires when the car has not been driven recently.
  • Inflate tires to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, not to the number molded into the sidewall of the tire.
  • Inspect tire treads for proper tread depth and any signs of uneven wear that may indicate a suspension or alignment problem.

4. Engine fluids

  • Check all fluids in the vehicle, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid to make sure they are filled to the proper levels.
  • If fluid needs to be refilled, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual.

5. Air conditioning

  • Maintain a comfortable driving environment to reduce fatigue and increase driver alertness to increase vehicle safety.
  • Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician.

Be Prepared for Summer Breakdowns

Even with proper preventative maintenance, breakdowns can still happen in the summer. AAA recommends that every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should include a flashlight and extra fresh batteries, first aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, booster cables for car batteries, emergency flares or reflectors, a rain poncho, and a basic kit of tools, duct tape. , gloves, and rags or paper towels.

To help keep Tennesseans’ vehicle emergency kits fully stocked this summer, local AAA branches are providing free AAA Summer Driving Kits. To find your local AAA branch, visit It is not necessary to be a member of AAA to pick up a kit.

Stranded drivers can contact AAA by calling or texting “HELP” to 1-800-AAA-HELP (save it in your contacts), submitting a request via The Web (check your favorites), or using the AAA mobile app (available at google play or in the app store).

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