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Temperature Variations in Automobiles in Various Weather Conditions: An Experimental Contribution to the Determination of Time of Death

Marty, Walter M.D.; Sigrist, Thomas M.D.; Wyler, Daniel M.D.

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2001 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - p 215-219

From January 1995 through March 2000, temperatures in the passenger compartment of automobiles of different sizes were measured under varying weather conditions (sunshine, cloudy skies, rain) at two locations in eastern Switzerland. During the cold season, the interior temperature rose to 21°C when cars were exposed to sunshine, whereas in summer interior temperature extremes of up to 89°C were recorded. Make, model, and color of the vehicles were of only minor influence.

From the Institute of Legal Medicine, Chur (W.M.), Institute of Legal Medicine, St. Gallen (Th.S.), and Institute of Legal Medicine, Bern (D.W.), Switzerland.

Manuscript received November 30, 2000; accepted January 5, 2001.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Walter Marty, M.D., Institute of Legal Medicine, Cantonal Hospital, CH-7000 Chur, Switzerland; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.