We’re pleading with motorists to be extra careful as the weather warms up, as RAA Road Service figures show a staggering number of children and animals are being left inside locked cars.
The data shows 615 children or animals had to be freed from a vehicle this year (to 16 December), putting them at risk of serious illness or death. This compares with 560 in 2020.
There have already been 85 rescues in the first three weeks of this summer.
Our Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure, Charles Mountain, said internal vehicle temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels, and that winding down windows or parking in the shade doesn’t make much difference.
“It’s a timely reminder as we move into the hottest part of our summer,” Mr Mountain said.
“Don’t be tempted under any circumstances to leave children or animals unattended in a parked vehicle in this weather.”
We’re also reminding drivers to be aware of their keys are at all times, to minimise the risk of their car being accidentally locked with someone still inside.
“It’s very important with modern vehicles that have features such as keyless entry, which makes it very easy to inadvertently lock your keys inside.”
If you do accidentally lock a child or animal in a car, act quickly to reduce the risk of them suffering dehydration or heat stroke. All South Australians can contact RAA Road Service on 131 111 for help in emergency situations.