(ATLANTA)—As the first major heat wave of the season moves across Georgia, the Georgia State Patrol is cautioning motorists to pay extra attention to motor vehicle safety. GSP Commander Colonel Bill Hitchens said Tuesday the high temperatures this time of summer place a heavy toll on motor vehicles and troopers often encounter a higher number of stranded motorists along the state’s highways.
Colonel Hitchens reminded motorists to make sure their vehicle is in proper working condition before traveling. “Drivers should make sure their vehicle’s tires are inflated to the pressure recommended on the tire, all fluids are filled to proper levels, wiper blades are not brittle, and visually check for cracks on hoses and belts,” Colonel Hitchens said. “A quick check before you begin a trip, no matter how short, can prevent you from becoming a stranded motorist.”
Troopers are also cautioning drivers not to leave children and pets alone in an unattended vehicle during the summer heat. “The temperature inside a car rises once a vehicle stops and the ignition is turned off,” Colonel Hitchens said. “The rise in temperature happens quickly and can be fatal for children and pets.”
Drivers should not leave children in an unattended car and be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. “Don’t overlook sleeping babies,” Colonel Hitchens said, and “make a regular practice of checking the back seat and back floor area for children and animals whenever you get out of a vehicle.”
Troopers also warn that children should not be allowed to play in vehicles. “Teach children that a car or truck is not a play area and be sure to lock your vehicle,” Colonel Hitchens noted. “If a child is missing, check vehicles first and don’t forget to check the trunk.”
The GSP Commander said Georgia State Troopers will be checking on stranded motorists and offering assistance throughout their daily patrols. It is recommended that drivers prepare an emergency kit for their car that includes a flashlight, first-aid kit, jumper cables, gloves, extra clothes, extra washer fluid, non-perishable food, a gallon of water, and basic tools. Emergency roadside assistance numbers should also be kept in a convenient location.