Almost 2000 children and animals locked in vehicles were rescued by RACQ in 2017.
Given the temperature inside a car can hit 40 degrees in a matter of minutes, there’s a significant safety risk to the person or animal trapped inside.
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said temperature testing had revealed vehicle cabin temperature could be as high as 75 degrees – far beyond the realm of anyone could survive.
“The real risk is the dehydration aspects and the health effects that lead on from that,” Mr Spalding said.
“We’ve found during testing a vehicle can head from ambient temp to 40 degrees in 7-8 minutes – it’s that 40 degree point that medical experts say is a real safety risk to that individual that may well lead to long-term health issues and even death.”
On average, RACQ roadside patrols performed three to four rescues of children accidently locked inside vehicles every day. Mr Spalding said the most common cause was parents giving their child the car keys to play with.
“To prevent this situation always keep the keys with you as the driver, never give them to the child to play with or leave them on the seat or in the boot,” he said.
Listen to the full interview with Mr Spalding and other summer safety advice, including sun protection and storm preparation, in the RACQ Living podcast.