Here in the UK a brief period of warm weather fell upon us over the weekend. Despite the uncertainty of when the temperature will rise over 20 degrees again, we’ve put together our tips for driving in hot (or even moderately warm) weather.
Staying safe whilst driving in hot weather
1. Bring a bottle of water along for the journey. Even being just 1% dehydrated can cause cognitive function to decrease by 5%, and this will obviously have a negative effect on your driving. 2% dehydration can impair short-term memory and the ability to focus. To ensure that you are as alert as possible, keep hydrated.
2. For comfort, but also to prevent drowsiness, make sure that your car has a functional air-conditioning unit or is well ventilated. The danger of driving whilst feeling drowsy are apparent, a sudden lapse in concentration can have disastrous effects or at the very least see you drifting from your lane. Feeling comfortable may seem like a trivial matter, but in attempts to cool yourself down you could find yourself temporarily taking your eyes off the road, which may result in an accident.
3. Ensure that your vision is not impaired by the sunlight. If it is make sure you have a pair of sunglasses to hand, and utilise the sun visors to ensure they’re positioned in a way that blocks out the sun’s rays.
4. If you have any allergies, make sure you have the relevant medication to control symptoms, as sneezing can prove to be very distracting when you’re trying to drive! Always check the labels on the medication you’re about to take though as some can cause drowsiness which could be just as dangerous and distracting as sneezing and runny eyes are.
5. Finally, if you’re travelling with young children or pets, do not leave them unattended in the car, even if you only need to leave for a few minutes to run a few small errands. Temperatures inside a car can soar rapidly and small children and animals are particularly affected by these extreme temperatures, easily becoming dehydrated or heatstroke.
Failing to ensure that your car is in good working order can also affect your journey and may even lead to your car breaking down so you should carry out regular car maintenance such as checking coolant levels and tyre pressure. Tradex provides Breakdown & Recovery Insurance should it be your job to collect broken down vehicles.