Never leave children or pets in your vehicle

We love our precious cargo and furry friends more than anything, and with summer well and truly upon us, RACT is warning Tasmanians to never leave their children and pets in their vehicles.

RACT Roadside continues to receive a concerning number of callouts to children, pets and adults locked in vehicles.

On a typical summer's day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle could reach between 30 and 40 degrees hotter than outside – that's 68 degrees inside a vehicle on a 28 degree day.

Even for a short period of time, the effects of leaving a child or pet in a vehicle can be devastating, with heat stress, dehydration, heat stroke and other health implications presenting as major risks.

According to the RSPCA, a dog left in a hot car, even with the windows ajar, could die within six minutes or suffer from long-lasting effects.

RACT is urging motorists to take their children and pets with them if they have to leave their vehicle during their journey.

To ensure everyone's safety, RACT will prioritise callouts to children, pets and adults locked in vehicles, regardless of whether the callout is to an RACT member or not.

If a member of the public notices a child locked in a vehicle and the owner is unknown to them, advise Tasmania Police immediately by telephoning triple zero (000).

In relation to animals, police should be called on 13 14 44.

Other things to consider:

  • It doesn't have to be a particularly hot day. Even at 20 degrees, the interior of a vehicle could rise up to 60 degrees.
  • Darker coloured cars can reach slightly higher temperatures when parked in the sun.
  • The colour of the interior trim has little impact on the speed the temperature inside a car increases.
  • Tinted windows make little difference to the temperature of the interior of a vehicle.
  • A large car can heat up just as quickly as a small car.
  • Having the windows down five centimetres causes only the slightest decrease in temperature.