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July 21, 2011
Virginia State Police Remind Motorists To Be Prepared When Traveling In This Week’s Extreme Temperatures

RICHMOND – With Virginia experiencing severely high temperatures through the weekend, Virginians are advised to prepare themselves and their vehicles accordingly. Even though Virginia State Police Troopers and Motorist Assistance Aides are on heightened alert for disabled motorists along the highways during the extreme heat, there are still things motorists can do to make their trip safer and free of problems:

  • Check all vehicle fluids. Make sure your automatic transmission, power steering, and brake fluids are full.

  • Tire air pressure. Check tire air pressure during cooler times of the day for a more accurate measure.

  • Pack water. Bring plenty of bottled water for you, your passengers, and pets.

  • Bring a cell phone. Don’t forget the charger! Call #77 to report a vehicle emergency to Virginia State Police. When calling for help, please know your location (interstate, mile marker, overpass, etc.) and direction of travel to expedite state police response.

  • Gas up. Fill up in advance of your trip in case you encounter any traffic delays.

  • Vehicle problems. If your vehicle does begin experiencing problems, try to make it to the nearest exit. If unable to, then pull off onto the shoulder or grass so as to put as much distance as possible between you and passing traffic. Motorists have 24 hours to remove their disabled vehicle from the unpaved portion of a roadway (gravel, grass, etc.). Any vehicle abandoned on a paved shoulder is deemed a traffic hazard and will be towed at the owner’s expense.

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Infants and children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:

    • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.

    • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.


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