As we start to see warmer weather, the Virginia DMV wants parents, caregivers and pet owners to “look before you lock.”
In 2020, 24 children in the United States died as a result of being left in an unattended hot vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The DMV said that parents and caregivers should never leave children by themselves in a car regardless of the temperature.
“As the weather is warming up in the Commonwealth and we are traveling more frequently, we need to establish habits that will help keep our children and pets safe when we get out of our vehicles,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “All hot car deaths are preventable and we - as parents, caregivers, and bystanders - have a responsibility to keep those more vulnerable to heatstroke safe.”
Drivers should also avoid leaving their pets in cars given that high temperatures can result in irreparable organ damage and even death.
The DMV encourages drivers to “look before you lock” by double checking the back seat of their car before you leave. Drivers should also be cautious when traveling with the elderly given that they are more at risk of heatstroke than younger adults, according to the National Institutes of Health.