NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is urging motorists not to leave children or pets in unattended vehicles, especially as summer temperatures begin to rise.
Preliminary reports indicate that eight children have already died this year due to heat stroke nationwide. None of those fatalities were in Tennessee.
According to the latest statistics, there were 44 heat stroke deaths involving children in the United States in 2013.
The THP’s Sgt. Bill Miller notes that Tennessee is among 20 states that have laws that prohibit leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.
“What people need to understand and need to realize is that when you crack your window on your car that doesn’t really affect the temperature inside the vehicle at all. Your average temperature inside your vehicle can rise 20 degrees within approximately 10 minutes.”
Miller says the United States averages 38 vehicle heat-stroke related deaths every year. He says the THP is pushing for zero deaths in Tennessee in 2014.