How quickly can the temperature inside your vehicle become lethal?

The Weather Authority
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – 725 children have died in hot vehicles in the U.S. since 1998, according to San Jose State University.

More than 50 percent of children who died between 1998 and 2016 were one-year-old or younger.

Two hot car deaths have occurred in Alabama this year. 1-year-old Christian Evan Sanders was found dead in a hot car in April in Vestavia Hills. The temperature outside the car was only 68 degrees. 14-month-old Giuliana Susan Grace Ramirez died in a hot car in Walker County on March 29.

A study published in Pediatrics showed just how fast the temperature can rise inside a vehicle without air conditioning.

Researchers studied the temperature in enclosed cars on 16 days between May 16 and August 8, 2002. The outside temperatures on the days of the study ranged from 72 degrees to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The vehicles were dark blue, mid-sized sedans with medium-grey interiors. Tests were also done with the windows cracked.

The data shows two-thirds of the heating inside the vehicles occurred within the first 20 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the temperature inside the vehicle was about 20 degrees hotter than the outside. After an hour, the temperature inside the vehicle was over 40 degrees hotter than the air temperature outside. The temperature inside the vehicle was more than 50 degrees hotter than the outside after just two hours.

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