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Driving in Hot and Sunny Weather

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 27 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Driving Weather Air Conditioning Bottled

Driving in hot weather can be draining, and it is easy to lose concentration, especially if you are driving for long periods of time. This article offers advice on driving in the sun and heat.

Air Conditioning

Having air conditioning in your vehicle is a must, especially during the summer months. Being inside a vehicle can quickly make you feel sticky and uncomfortable, even if you wind the windows down. Contrary to popular opinion, this will not stop you from feeling tired and drowsy when the weather is hot, but it will help to make driving in hot and sunny weather more bearable - especially if you get stuck in traffic jams.

Take Regular Breaks

Schedule regular breaks when driving in hot and sunny weather, as your concentration levels are likely to drop. You're also more likely to feel drowsy behind the wheel. As any safe driver knows, this can be a deadly combination. If you feel yourself losing concentration whilst driving, find a safe place to stop the car and have a ten minute break before you resume driving. This is usually enough time to refresh yourself, especially if you find somewhere cool to take your break. It's not a good idea just to sit in the car (or sit out in the sun), as this is unlikely to give you enough of a chance to clear your head before you get back in the car.

Bottled Water

As the British summer has a habit of changing weather conditions very quickly, you can sometimes get caught out. If the weather suddenly turns warm, you need to keep your fluid levels topped up to avoid dehydration. Keeping bottled water in the car as a precaution is a good idea, but remember to replace it regularly or it will not be as effective.

Check Your Car

Hot weather can have a negative effect on your car's tyres, so it's a good idea to check them closely during periods of hot weather to make sure that they are still roadworthy. Make sure that the air pressure is correct too. You may need to check your tyres en route too, to make sure that they aren't overheating. Engine fluids also need checking, as the engine can overheat if there isn't enough of this.

Traffic Jams

There is nothing worse than being stuck in a hot car during a traffic jam. Turning on the air conditioning and stocking up on bottled water are two of the best things that you can do, but you may also find it useful to take the opportunity to check your car whilst you're not going anywhere.

If you have a Satellite Navigation (Sat Nav) system in your car, you may be able to receive traffic news. This is very useful, as it can inform you of possible traffic jams. Obviously this will not make sitting in the traffic jam any easier, but at least you are prepared beforehand!

It is especially important to stick to speed limit in hot weather. If your concentration levels slip even momentarily, you may find it difficult or impossible to slow down in time to avoid an accident if you are travelling above the recommended speed limit.

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