Fatal water bottle mistake car drivers are making while trying to stay hydrated

There is no shortage of notices and advice telling us all to keep a bottle of water on us during the hot weather.

Motorists in particular have been warned about the dangers of "dehydrated driving", as well as how driving in a hot car " affects your reactions like drink driving ".

So by all means make sure you have a bottle of water to hand.

Just make sure you don’t leave it in your car when you exit your vehice.

The consequences could be catastrophic.

Much in the same way a magnifying glass works, a clear plastic bottle with water in can concentrate the sun’s rays and filters them into a powerful beam.

One which could, depending on what sort of material you’ve left your bottle on, cause a fire in your car.

Don’t believe us? A YouTube video from US company Idaho Power showed exactly how this can happen.

As part of the experiment, the water bottle was placed to focus light onto a leather or vinyl seat, generating a scorching 99C (211F) temperature in the process and burning two small holes in the fabric.

Happily, most car manufacturers use flame retardant material, but if you leave your bottle near items like paper, clothes or rubbish, then the concentrated rays could spark a fire.

To create the perfect lens, the bottle itself would also need to be smooth and spherical, and for the light to pass through the liquid inside must be completely clear.

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You’d also need a long blast of sunshine for the light beam (at the right angle) to reach the optimum temperature.

So while the odds are in your favour, as a safety measure it’s best for you to leave your water bottle in the glove compartment or in the footwell.

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