TUCSON, Ariz., August 2, 2011 – With record-breaking temperatures soaring across the country, GEICO is offering consumers a few critical reminders on the potential dangers of leaving an unattended child in a vehicle during extreme weather conditions.
"On a humid day with outside temperatures in the mid 90’s, temperatures inside a car can range anywhere from 130 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes for a potentially dangerous situation if you leave your children or pets in a car unattended," says Martha Furnas, GEICO assistant vice president. "A car’s surfaces and interior equipment such as seat belts and car seats may also cause potential dangers for small children."
According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of serious injury or death during hot weather is heightened for children left alone in vehicles. Heat illness is a spectrum that goes from exhaustion to a life threatening condition called heat stroke, which is a form of hyperthermia and the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children under the age of 14.
GEICO offers the following safety tips:
- Never leave a child alone in a car even with the windows partially opened.
- Do not leave your children in a running vehicle with the air conditioner on even for a few minutes.
- Make a habit of checking your vehicle before locking the door and walking away.
- Leave yourself a reminder (written note) that your child is in the vehicle
- Place your purse, cell phone or briefcase in the back seat where your child is seated so that you will have to check that area when you leave the vehicle.
- Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle.
- Always lock your car doors and keep car keys out of children’s reach.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 12 million private passenger customers and insures more than 18 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO's online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.