When we hear the term “vehicle entrapment,” many of us automatically think of being trapped in a burning or sinking vehicle. There are, however, different types of entrapment that we don’t consider, yet they are just as deadly.
Unintentional entrapments, such as children being left in vehicles and dying often occur during the summer months. There have been many cases of unintentional entrapments reported. The majority of the children were under age three and suffered from heat stroke. A child’s body is unable to process the summer heat as an adult’s would – their bodies have yet to develop “cooling mechanisms” against the rising temperatures.
When the outside temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the inside temperature of a vehicle climbs to a staggering 122 degrees – even with the windows cracked. This takes place in less than 20 minutes; much less time than the average person spends in the grocery store picking up “one or two” items. Within 30-40 minutes the temperature further rises to 150+ degrees.
To avoid such tragedies:
- Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle.
- Teach children to not play around or in vehicles.
- Place keys away from children and keep doors, trunks and windows closed and locked when the vehicle is not in use.
- Keep fold-down seats closed so that children cannot crawl through and hide.
Intentional entrapments include carjackings and robberies. To avoid those situations, practice the following safety guidelines:
- Never leave your doors unlocked or windows down while driving.
- Do not have valuables in plain view.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Do not drive in unfamiliar areas after dark.
- Always remove keys, close windows and lock doors before exiting vehicle.