Why You Should NEVER Leave a Water Bottle In Your Hot Car Again
As a runner, it shouldn't surprise you that as the weather heats up the front seat of my car becomes a graveyard of plastic water bottles. It's a habit that I really need to break after seeing this video from Idaho Power.
It's probably more environmentally friendly to take along a reusable water bottle to re-hydrate with after a run but I'm also incredibly lazy and will never wash them. Albertsons always seems to to have a killer deal on disposable waters, so I just grab a six pack of those and throw one in my car as I need it. Little did I know that leaving that bottle in my cup holder while I'm on the Greenbelt could be dangerous!
This video was originally posted by Idaho Power in 2017, but with highs in the upper 80ºs today and the interior temperature of your car rising quickly in just a matter of minutes, it's a good thing to revisit in 2019. An Idaho Power Stations Battery Technician left a bottle of water in his front seat on a hot, sunny day and realized that it had started smoking!
The water in the bottle acted as a lens that refracted sunlight to a single point (kind of like how a magnifying glass does when your kids are trying to burn ants with it in the summer) and heated up the seat to well over 200º, causing it to smoke and burn. Luckily he caught it before it became a full blown fire.
It should go without saying, but a day like today is also a day where you shouldn't leave your pets or kids behind in a locked car while you run errands. When the air temperature outside reached 85º, the temperatures inside the car reach 104º within 10 minutes and 119º within 30. Because a child's body is wired quite differently from adults, their core temperature rises up to five times as quickly. Having an elevated body temperature, even for a short time, can lead to long term damage of the brain and nervous system.