As long as the sun keeps shining, we would continue to take extra precautions for our health. One of the necessities required during the summer is staying hydrated. Of course, keeping bottled water handy almost all the time is important, even while driving.
But one mistake that we all make is leaving bottled water in our cars.
While approaching a hot summer period, taking a cold bottle of water for your drive seems like a natural fit, right? But do you know that it could lead to unforeseen consequences?
Leaving bottled water in your car during summer is a bad idea because it could ignite a fire in your car. Saying water can cause a fire may sound impossible, right? But it’s not the water but that plastic bottle that can cause a fire.
When bottled water is left in a car for a long time, the sun shines through the window and then through the bottle. This causes the bottle to act as a lens that channels light into a high-powered beam, which is strong enough to ignite a fire.
However, while fire-retardant materials inside a vehicle would likely prevent it from igniting, the water bottle-turned-laser could leave behind a burn mark.
As a case study, a video uploaded on YouTube in 2018, featured a water bottle burning two small holes in a car. The video illustrated how much energy comes from the sun and mixed with the plastic bottled water, creating a lens shape, which was hot enough to start a fire.
What should you do?
As much as it is good to always take a bottle of water along with you in your car, you should avoid leaving it there when you are stepping out for a long time, especially during summer.
Rather than keeping a water bottle in your car, it is better to carry it with you and avoid the risk of ignition. In situations where you cannot carry the water with you, you can keep it under the seat of the car so that it won’t be exposed to sunlight.
The risk of such a disaster occurring might be low, but taking your water bottle with you when exiting the car is the best way to prevent the risk.
Can you drink the bottled water left in your car after a long period?
If you’ve ever left a plastic water bottle in a hot car or warm environment for a while, you may notice the water tasted a little funny when you drank it.
When a car is parked under the sun, it can increase the internal temperature to 78 degree Celsius, hence, bottled water kept in a car parked directly under the rays of the sun should not be consumed, as it is unsafe for drinking. This is because the heat could help chemicals from the plastic leach into the water.