It’s only been three days since summer officially started and we’re already feeling the heat. However, we don’t have it nearly as bad as our friends in the southwestern United States, who are facing one of the worst heat waves in years. But even if you aren’t up against life-threatening temperatures, you’re still up against the risk of subjecting your children or pets to heat-induced accidents. So, in order to keep the lights of our life safe, we’d like to shed a little light on the dangers of summertime parking, and how you can keep your loved ones out of the hot seat.

Statistically, cars are a larger threat on the road than they are sitting in a parking lot. But they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. Because cars are meant to be relatively airtight, they act as an oven in the summer sun. For example: on a day where it’s only 72 degrees, the temperature inside the car can heat up by 40 degrees within the hour. Plus, most people don’t realize that the temperature of a smaller body, like that of a child or pet, increases between three and five times faster than a larger body in the same conditions, even with air conditioning. So, even if you’re running in for just for a second, take a minute to take your little ones with you.

Even the most thoughtful caregiver can make a mistake. That’s why organizations like KidsAndCars.org are trying to equip every car with a system that will alert drivers if a child has been left behind. But until that technology exists, they’ve been educating parents and guardians on Look Before You Lock. Look Before You Lock encourages parents to open the back door and check the backseat before leaving the vehicle. They even recommend putting your cellphone, backpack or purse in the backseat so you don’t forget anything, or anyone, before leaving the vehicle. This simple reminder can help keep a minor slip-up from slipping into something more serious.

Now, not all of us have children, but let’s not forget about our fur children. Our dogs, contrary to popular belief, are also at risk during the summertime. Because, while dogs are made for playing outside, being stuck inside a car makes it very difficult for them to cool off. And since they don’t have any sweat glands, they become dehydrated and overheat quickly. So, leave your best friend at home; we’re sure they’ll be waiting for you when you get back.

We hope this helps put the risks of summer parking in perspective. Together, with a little extra care and attention, we can protect our precious cargo. Because whether in the car – or even on a bike – Caliber is always committed to keeping you safe.