PennDOT Highlights Heatstroke Prevention

Digital Staff



The Following is a press Release from The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is highlighting National Heatstroke Prevention Day, July 31, by reminding motorists to never leave children and pets in or near automobiles, especially on hot days where the temperatures inside cars can reach lethal levels.

“Temperatures in vehicles on hotter days can increase to dangerous levels in very little time, and leaving a child or a pet in that circumstance can mean the difference between life or death,” says PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain, P.E. “If you are leaving your vehicle for a quick errand, make sure your children and pets are never left behind in your car.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 children lost their lives in 2018 due to either being left in an automobile or becoming trapped. As of July 26, of this year, 21 such deaths have occurred nationwide. The leading cause of heatstroke deaths was because a caregiver had meant to or thought they dropped a child at day care or preschool but had forgotten about the child.
Tips to help families avoid this unimaginable circumstance:
  • Stay alert and always be aware of your children in the back seat.
  • Leave a package or a personal item you need for the day in the backseat with the child, so you are prompted to open the back door as soon as you park.
  • Create an electronic reminder for yourself to check on the kids before you lock the car.
  • Always look before you lock to make sure no children or pets are forgotten.
The second leading cause of heatstroke deaths in automobiles is children being trapped or getting into unattended vehicles. Caregivers and neighbors should get into the habit of locking their car doors when they are unattended, so children never have access.
Pennsylvania’s newly passed “Good Samaritan” law protects citizens from liability for rescuing children left alone in hot vehicles if they made a good faith effort to contact the vehicle’s owner and emergency responders. Last year a similar law went into effect for pets that allows police officers and first responders to enter a hot vehicle to save the life of a dog or cat.
To learn more about heatstroke prevention and other PennDOT safety initiatives, visit