Rising temperatures increase dangers of hot car deaths
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Unaccompanied children can get trapped in cars and suffer heatstroke.
Flickr: Bert Hernandez

Today marks the start of the second deadliest month of the year for hot car deaths. With heat indexes averaging 96 degrees across Mississippi, MPB's Alexis Ware reports, drivers should look before they lock. 

Clarksdale native Norman Collins Senior's 3-month-old grandson died in 2011. He was left in a car for two hours. Collins supports a new bill that's been introduced to the U.S. Senate called the HOT CARS Act. This would mandate all new vehicles have a sensor that would alert drivers of passengers left in the back seat. 

"Sensors to remind us that our seatbelts are not fastened or that the trunk is up or that the door's not closed really good, then why can't we have sensors in place to make sure that a child's life is not ended or tragically impaired." 

In 2016, three Mississippi children died of car heatstroke. Kids and cars reports nationwdie there were more than 25 hot car deaths so far this year. Democratic Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is a sponsor of the HOT CARS Act

"These kinds of sensors and alerts can prevent these needless tragedies. I'm going to work to pass this legislation, and I'm hoping we can make sure children are given better protection." 

28 percent of hot car deaths occur from incidents where a child entered a car and got trapped according to Safe Kids Worldwide.  Elizabeth Foster with Safe Kids Mississippi says always keep car doors locked. She says car temperatures rise quickly.

"The temperature in a car goes up about 19 degrees in less than 10 minutes even on a day where it's only 80 degrees outside in about 10 minutes that car can heat up to over 100 degrees."

Foster says vehicular heatstroke can occur during any season not just in summer months.