How much more does a car heat up in the sun than in the shade and when it is dangerous?

6 Jul

The temperatures that a car can reach in the sun are really great. They heat up a lot, to the point of leaving the car practically unusable (watch out for this trick to cool it down quickly). Thanks to a RACC study we know that black cars are warmer than white cars… and now a team of researchers has investigated more closely what temperatures are reached in the interior (beyond seeing if a pizza can be cooked).

It is not a trivial investigation. On the one hand it is because the thermometers of the car lie and on the other, because it is dangerous to “forget” a child inside in these situations, because people do it, and more times than you think. In 2018, six minors have died in the United States for this reason and 38 die each year from being exposed to high temperatures that are lethal. We do not want to imagine the number of pets that suffer from heat stroke and end up perishing.

A team at the University of Arizona, which have published in the journal Temperature has shown that leaving a child in a car in the sun can be deadly in as little as an hour. They have used three pairs of vehicles to check how the air inside them heats up, in the sun and in the shade, on a day when the outside temperature was 100 ° Fahrenheit. And these were the results: inside 46.6º C/37.8º C (Sun/Shadow), dashboard 69.4º C/47.8º C, steering wheel 52.8º C/41.6º C, seats 50.5º C/40.5º C. They wanted to know what the interior of each vehicle would look like after an hour, more or less the time it takes to buy food. It would be very hot, but we were surprised by the surface temperatures. Who has not tried it on their meats by touching the steering wheel or knob of the gear lever on a hot day?

And so much even in the shade, the temperature reached can be lethal for a child, because although the interior temperature does not trigger, the fact of including a person reduces humidity. They exhale moisture in the air and, at higher humidity the person can’t cool sweating because the sweat does not evaporate so quickly, the researcher points out. According to their calculations, a two-year-old child could collapse after an hour in a car parked in the sun and up to two hours in a car in the shade. If it happens to you, remember our tips for dealing with heat stroke.

Will brands use this data to develop systems that prevent parents from forgetting children in the car? It happens especially when you perform routine tasks and suddenly an unforeseen event makes you take longer than you thought. We remind you that 11 year old boy was inventing a system called E-Z Baby Saver, there are mobile applications and Hyundai is already investigating with a warning of rear occupants. Meanwhile, remember to protect your car from the sun.