The word from the legal world

Winter Driving Tips: How to Safety Warm Up Your Car

Whether you have attached or detached garage, it is important to recognize the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning from running or warming up your car inside of your garage.

It Is Certainly Tempting

We all want our car to be warm when we get into it in the winter. However, between 1999 and 2019, there were as many as 5,500 deaths involving carbon monoxide poisoning caused by carbon monoxide sources such as cars. So, it is important to recognize the danger so as to be able to avoid it for the safety of yourself, your family and your pets.

Carbon Monoxide Can Be Odorless

Carbon monoxide is essentially the incomplete combustion of gas. Sometimes, in the case of cars, you can smell the smoke that a car gives off.  However, with newer or more efficient cars, it can be orderless and therefore very dangerous. You will often hear carbon monoxide referred to as the “silent killer”.  It is a silent killer because it can cause immediate death or death over an extended period of time due to the buildup of carbon monoxide in your system.  Often, long term carbon monoxide poisoning will not be determined to be the cause of death.  Instead, the longtime exposure will disguise itself as respiratory, heart or other issues that caused a death.

How Can I Safely Warm Up My Car in The Winter?

According to several recent studies, cars take only 30 seconds to finish the warming process. This may not result in active heating within your car, however, the car does not need to be warmed up any longer than 30 seconds. It is absolutely unsafe to warm up your car within your garage for any period of time. Long-term and gradual carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to deadly results. If you must warm your car up, you should do so outside of your garage and far enough away from your house to avoid any gases from entering into your home.

Warming up a vehicle within a garage is terribly inefficient. A recent study indicated that most of a house’s lost heat in the winter comes from the garage. So, while you are warming up your car, you are cooling off your house which is causing your heater in your home to work harder to keep your house warm. You are better off pulling your car out of the garage and closing the garage door in order to warm up your vehicle during winter months.

Consider a Carbon Monoxide Detector in Your Garage

Some carbon monoxide detectors are approved for garage use. There are even some carbon monoxide detectors that can be programmed to open your garage door automatically if levels of carbon monoxide within your garage become too high.

Snowblowers and Other Equipment

If the machine runs on gas, never start the machine within your garage. These machines have the same effect as a motor vehicle.  If you use equipment such as  tractors, four wheelers and other snow plowing vehicles, these also should not be started or warmed up inside of any garage or even a barn.  Likewise, snow recreational equipment such as snowmobiles are just as dangerous as a car and should never be started inside a garage.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Short term symptoms include dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath.

When severe enough, the high-level symptoms include mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular, coordination and loss of consciousness.

Pets and Young Children are Most Susceptible

The rule of thumb is generally the smaller the person, and the less that they weigh, the more susceptible they are to carbon monoxide poisoning. Pets generally remain in the house far more often and for longer periods of time than their owners. So, your pets are very susceptible to long term carbon monoxide poisoning. So, in order to keep our children and pets safe, never warm your car up within or near an open garage.

For more information or to consult with an attorney about an injury, call Femminineo Law at 855.65.CRASH or contact us today.

Hire the best personal injury lawyers in Michigan

Femminineo Law, PLLC is Michigan’s finest personal injury firm. He has succeeded in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of highway accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and for wrongful death matters throughout the State of Michigan.

Scroll to Top