AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans to take extra precautions and stay safe as we officially kick off summer.

Rising temperatures and increased travel can create additional safety concerns over the summer, particularly with extreme temperatures increasing the risk of heat-related injuries or deaths. Despite rain that has cooled much of the state this week, heat indices have already hit 100 degrees and above in many parts of Texas, and will continue to do so throughout the summer.

“Safety is always our first priority at DPS, and summertime presents our state with unique challenges,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “School is out, families are traveling, and temperatures are on the rise. Everyone can do their part to prevent senseless tragedies this summer by staying hydrated in the heat and using extra caution, as well as obeying traffic laws while on the road.”

Rising summer temperatures create greater safety concerns, including the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you start feeling ill, immediately move to a cooler area and slowly drink fluids. Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and, if possible, avoid outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the afternoon.

Warmer weather also places children and pets at greater risk of injury or death if left unattended in a vehicle. Temperatures inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in only 10 minutes. Even with an outside temperature of 60 degrees, the temperature inside a car can reach 110 degrees, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Leaving windows partially rolled down does not help. Children and pets should never be left unattended in a vehicle.  

Additionally, with school out for the summer, drivers should be aware of children playing near roadways and use caution while driving in neighborhoods, as well as near parks and playgrounds.