Ever wonder just how hot the inside of your car gets during the summer? The answer is really hot. So hot, you can successfully bake a sheet of cookies on the dashboard.
We left clumps of raw cookie dough on a metal baking sheet inside a parked car on a sunny day just to prove how hot it gets inside the car. While outside temperatures ranged between 87 and 93 degrees during those hours, our large thermometer we left inside the car topped out beyond 140 degrees in less than an hour.
After baking in the makeshift oven for two-and-a-half hours, the internal temperature of the cookies was approximately 167 degrees, which exceeds the minimum safe temperature of the eggs inside the cookie dough. In other words, they're completely baked, though we still wouldn't advise eating them.
The temperature inside a car on a sunny day can rise an average of 40 degrees within an hour, regardless of the outside temperature or whether a window is cracked, according to a Stanford University study. Though the hotter it is outside, the more the heat will increase. On a mild day of 60 degrees, the inside car temperature can rise to more than 100; and when it's 90 degrees outside, the temperature can soar over 160, according to AccuWeather. Eighty percent of the temperature rise occurs within the first half hour, giving little time to correct a mistake should a pet or child be left in the car.
On average, 37 children die of vehicular heat stroke each year, according to Kids And Cars. Pets can sustain brain damage and die from heatstroke in as little as 15 minutes.
Kids And Cars states that children should never be left alone in cars, not even for a minute, and provides tips on how to prevent it from happening. One tip is to keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat, and when the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. Now you have a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat so they are not forgotten.
We hope this demonstration reminds parents and pet owners to keep their loved ones safe from the dangers of heatstroke.