Here's how quickly your car interior heats up to dangerous, deadly levels

As the Bay Area falls under its first major heat wave of the season with near triple-digit temperatures to hit some locations starting Tuesday, people are being reminded about the dangers of hot cars, which can act like death traps for young children and pets.

The inside of a vehicle can heat up to deadly levels within minutes. 

According to a study from No Heat Stroke published by San Jose State University's Jan Null, in 80-degree weather, it took 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to climb to 99 degrees. 

Within 20 minutes, the interior of a car hit 114 degrees.

In 90-degree weather, the temperature soared to 109 degrees within ten minutes. 

After 30 minutes, it reached 122 degrees inside a vehicle. 

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Experts note that cracking open the winds does not slow the heating process and temperatures can still reach hazardous levels.

They also say there are contributing factors that make it especially dangerous for children. 

"A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body," according to the non-profit group Kids and Car Safety.

Figures show, on average, 38 young children die in the U.S. each year in hot cars. Most victims are 3 years and younger. 

Experts say the tragedy often occurs when caretakers mistakenly leave a child in the car when they’re supposed to be dropped off at childcare. 

Kids and Car Safety recommends implementing safeguards to prevent such an accident: 

  • Place the child’s diaper bag or other child-related item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that the child is with you.
  • Make it a habit of opening the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind.
  • Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
  • Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to a child being left behind in a vehicle.

File of dog left in parked car. The inside of a car can soar to dangerous levels even with the windows cracked open, experts say. 

Pets are also vulnerable. Figures showed more than 160 pets died from heat exhaustion after being left in a vehicle. 

Marin Humane urged pet owners to leave their animal companions at home when the temperatures rise. 

"Pets, cars, and warm days don’t mix. Running into the store for ‘just a minute’ can be dangerous for an animal left in a car," the animal rescue group said

Marin Humane also urged anyone who sees a pet left unattended in a car on a warm day, to get the vehicle description and license plate and call animal rescue workers.

In California, it is illegal to leave children or animals in a hot vehicle.