DPS Offers Summer Safety Tips


 With hot weather here, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) urges everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones from the dangers of extreme heat in order to have a safe, healthy summer.

“We are in the heart of summer now here in Texas and everyone needs to familiarize themselves with safety measures to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Implementing simple principles can be the difference between life or death this summer for Texans.”



Rapid Temperature Rise: On a 90-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise above 130 degrees in less than 30 minutes.

  • Vulnerable Populations: Children and pets are particularly susceptible to heat-related illness, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than the average adult.
  • Heatstroke Symptoms: Warning signs for heatstroke include headache, fainting, lack of sweating, rapid pulse and confusion. In cases of heatstroke, immediate medical attention is crucial.
  • Notice Pavement Temperature: On an 85-degree day, asphalt surfaces can reach up to 140 degrees. When surfaces are just 125 degrees, children and pets can burn their feet within 60 seconds of contact.



  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day—hydration is key prior to going outdoors.
  • Avoid Excessive Amounts of Alcohol and Caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and can lead to dehydration. It’s best to avoid too much of either one, especially when spending time in the heat.
  • Limit Outdoor Activities: Try to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day – typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Never Leave Children or Pets Unattended: Even for a short period of time, leaving children or pets alone in a vehicle when it’s hot can be fatal. Always take them with you, no matter how short the errand.
  • Act Quickly: If you see a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1 immediately. Quick intervention can save their life.

Summer is also the time when lots of Texans are hitting the road for summer vacation. Prior to heading out, you need to make sure your vehicle is in good condition, well stocked and you’re prepared.



  • Battery: Extreme heat can damage your vehicle’s battery, making it harder to hold a charge and produce power.
  • Engine: When the engine is too hot, fuel can’t circulate well, making it difficult to start.
  • Tires: Temperature changes can affect tire pressure, which can lead to uneven wear and shorten the life of a tire. The heat can also cause the air inside your tires to expand, leading to blowouts.
  • Wiper Blades: After a cold winter and spring rain, windshield wiper blades may need to be replaced. Rubber is vulnerable to extreme heat – so it’s a good idea to check for signs of wear and tear. If they aren’t in top condition, change them out before you go.
  • Air Conditioning: High summer temperatures can add extra stress to your vehicle’s air conditioning system, changing your air filter and checking your refrigerant can help ensure the air conditioner makes it through the summer.
  • Emergency Kit: Breakdowns happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Having an emergency kit in your car can help. The number one item is a cell phone battery charger to allow you to call for help. Other top items include flashlight, jumper cables, first aid kit, water and non-perishable food.

To get ahead of any problems, schedule a visit with a mechanic to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready. Find additional summer heat safety tips at Extreme Heat (texasready.gov). Remember, by following all these tips, we can do our part to ensure everyone enjoys a safe summer season.