Motorists warned of huge £1,000 fines and fire hazards when driving with water bottles

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Motorists are being urged to avoid leaving water bottles in their car to avoid fires. Plastic and water can filter light like a magnifying glass, which concentrates the sun’s rays into a beam which can burn through fabric sheets.

This was first highlighted by Drew Anderson, a meteorologist for 69 News in the United States.

He left a clear water bottle on the passenger seat of his car and came back to see the seat had been burnt.

The sun had been hitting the bottle at the right angle to burn a hole in the front seat of his vehicle.

He said: “It’s a mistake I’ll never make again.

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“When I come up to the station, I always put my big water bottle on the passenger seat.

“One day, on a really hot and humid day, I left it in my car.

“Because that beam of light was so intense on that one spot on my seat, it actually made the seat hot enough to catch on fire.”

A hole was left on his seat, burn marks on the fabric of the seat and a charred mark on his water bottle.

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Drivers are being warned not to overlook simple items like water bottles, as they could cause danger.

Graham Conway, General manager of Select Car Leasing said: “In the UK, it’s easy to overlook the dangers of leaving objects in our cars in summer.

“Especially when you think other countries experience much warmer weather, but that does not mean there’s no risk.

“Parking in the shade will best protect your car, and its contents, from the summer sun.

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“If you do happen to leave any vulnerable objects in your car when you’re out on a journey, store the items in your glovebox or in your boot so they’re out of direct sunlight until you reach your destination.”

Previously, NHS Property Services warned that bottles of hand sanitiser could also be a fire risk if left unattended in vehicles on hot days.

However, drivers could also be fined up to £1,000 for not drinking enough water, especially as summer approaches.

Motorists who are dehydrated risk a £1,000 fine for failure to have proper control of a vehicle due to dehydration symptoms such as dizziness and loss of focus. 

Research by Loughborough University has revealed that even a mild form of dehydration is the equivalent of being over the limit when calculating errors in driving.

Mike Thompson, Chief Operating Officer at Leasing Options, said: “We’re used to checking the water and oil levels of our car before we set off but how many people check their own water levels?

“When starting your car before a long-distance journey, you may not think drinking an extra glass of water before leaving the house would affect your driving abilities, but you would be wrong.

“Drinking more water will not only have a positive effect on the body but will also prevent the chance of dizziness or loss of focus because of it.”

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