It may not officially be summer yet, but as Floridians know summer-like temperatures start early.
As it gets warmer, it's important to remember that your vehicle heats up fast. According to the National Weather Service, the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 100 degrees in 25 minutes when the outside temperature is just 73 degrees.
According to KidsandCars.org, nearly 1,000 children 14 and under died from heatstroke after being left in hot cars between 1990 and 2020.
Florida ranks second when it comes to the number of hot car deaths involving children.
Of the 993 children killed from 1990 to 2020, 104 were in Florida, according to KidsandCars.org.
Pets have also died after being left in hot cars. On Sunday, a police officer in Sarasota saved a dog left in a hot car for more than an hour.
According to the police department, the temperature was 111 degrees by the time Recruit Officer Mang broke the window and rescued Moose.
🐾🚔STORY OF MOOSE & RECRUIT OFFICER MANG🚔🐾 Earlier today, a citizen called 911 after they found Moose, seen here with...
The chart below from NoHeatStroke.org breaks down estimated vehicle temperature over time based on different outside temperatures.
So, what can you do if you see a child, animal or vulnerable adult locked in a hot car?
According to a 2016 law, a person in Florida that uses force to enter a vehicle to remove a vulnerable person or domestic animal is immune from civil liability for damage to the vehicle.
The law says the person is immune if they:
- Determine the motor vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable method for the vulnerable person or domestic animal to exit the motor vehicle without assistance
- Has a good faith and reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstances, that entry into the motor vehicle is necessary because the vulnerable person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm
- Ensures that law enforcement is notified or 911 called before entering the motor vehicle or immediately thereafter
- Uses no more force to enter the motor vehicle and remove the vulnerable person or domestic animal than is necessary
- Remains with the vulnerable person or domestic animal in a safe location, in reasonable proximity to the motor vehicle, until law enforcement or other first responder arrives