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Man locks himself in hot car as eye-opener for parents

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Man locks himself in hot car as eye-opener for parents

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 15, 2014

We've all recently heard the heartbreaking stories of children being forgotten or intentionally left inside hot cars with no escape. However, have you ever attempted to lock yourself into your own car on a steamy summer day, just to feel what it's like?

A father of three, Terry Bartley, 33, of Raleigh, North Carolina, has, and he captured the unbearable experience on video. Watch the clip above

Two days after 22-month-old Cooper Harris died after being left in his father's car in Georgia for seven hours, Bartley posted this experiment on YouTube. In his self-made PSA, he urged viewers to share his now viral video, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

So far, 17 children have died in hot cars this summer around the country. 

"I wanted to know how it feels to sit in a car, and I would never leave my kids in a car like this. I don't even care if the car was running with the AC on, they would get out of the car and come in with me or I wouldn't even stop at all. This is wrong," Bartley says from the car with sealed windows, as sweat pours down his face.

"We go through this every year," he states. "It's always some fool who wants to leave their kid in the backseat of their car, and forget all about them. Do you really love your kids? That's what you should ask yourself."

Bartley has since spoken with the New York Daily News about his first-person experience. “It was almost like someone was in the car choking me and I couldn’t breathe," he said.

With temperatures outside nearly hitting 90 that day, Bartley claims that he could only stay in the car for an estimated 20 minutes before escaping. As for children, however, they often don't have that ability to exit the vehicle.

Bartley's video has inspired other parents to record their own videos in support. Likewise, police officers have also joined the cause.

Watch below as an officer in Texas and another based in Louisiana create their own PSA videos.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.