PANAMA CITY Fla. - If it's hot outside -it's even hotter in your car. Some people have no choice but to spend all day in them, especially delivery carriers.
"The worst part is getting in the truck for the first time 'cause it's always so hot," says Harrison McElheney owner and manager of Hallmark Flowers.
Last week a California postal carrier was found dead in their delivery truck in over 100F heat. The cause of death is under investigation. It is possible it was due to overheating because most postal vehicles do not have air conditioning.
The United States Postal Service released a statement to News 13 saying, "The safety of our employees is a top priority and the Postal Service has implemented a national Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP) for all employees. In connection with the HIPP, the Postal Service provides mandatory heat-related and other safety training and instruction to all employees and assures they have the resources needed to do their jobs safely."
The national weather service says at 73F outside the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 100F in less than 30 min.
News 13 conducted an experiment and found that on a hot day in Panama City, it only took 10 minutes for a car to jump from 85F to 112F.
According to Heather Kretzer, the Florida Health Department of Bay County Public Information Officer, "There's two things that can be extremely dangerous. One is a heat stroke and one is heat exhaustion. But if there's ever any question of whether it's heat exhaustion or heat stroke, the best thing to do is always to call 9-1-1."
Drivers at Hallmark Flowers spend about 8 hours a day in and out of hot cars. McElheney says "We always get our AC's checked out a couple times a year to make sure that it's blowin' cold air and they drink plenty of water, it keeps them hydrated and they're good to go." Some drivers have even thought to put wet cloths in coolers and will put them on their neck throughout the day to stay cool.
According to experts, hydrating with sports drinks that contain electrolytes is one of the best ways to avoid overheating.
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