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Top Tips For Driving In The Hot Sun
With the summer just around the corner and the temperature already on the rise, many of us are planning out our summer road trips. However, while the summer sun might make everything seems a little brighter, if you’re in a truly hot state, it can have a somewhat negative impact on your car.
To help you keep your automobile in tip-top shape for the summer, ready to take you anywhere as you chase the sunshine, here are some top tips for driving in the hot sun.
Do a Little Prep and Maintenance
The first thing you can do to prepare your car for the coming heat is to do a little maintenance, especially if you’re car has been sitting in the garage, waiting for the winter to end. Here’s a quick checklist of simple and easy things to do to ensure you’re ready for the summer roads.
- Check your tire pressures. Heat can make your tires fluctuate in pressure so make sure you check them when they’re cool before starting out on your journey.
- Checking the level of your engine coolant. YOur wind most cars have a minimum to maximum marker is displayed on the coolant tank to help you determine if you need to top it up. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of water in the trunk of your vehicle just in case you need to replenish coolant while you’re out on the road.
- Check you have enough fluid in your windscreen washer reservoir to wipe away dust and insects from your windscreen.
- Having enough water and snacks for the journey. Water is especially important. You don’t know if there will be traffic snarls and your journey might take much longer than anticipated.
- Planning regular rest breaks. Long journeys in hot weather can be monotonous and tiring and driving tired is extremely dangerous.
- Tune into your local traffic station so you know about traffic jams in time to avoid them. This is especially important in summer as overheated engines in long traffic jams are one of the largest causes of breakdowns in hot weather.
How to Deal With Glare
While it might seem innocuous, glare from the sun causes around three thousand traffic
incidents every year. To avoid becoming part of that statistic there are a couple of easy steps you can take.
- If there is a lot of sun glare, slow down as you would if you were driving in heavy rain, snow, or any other kind of visibility reducing weather.
- Leave a larger gap between you and the car in front of you to make sure you have enough time to react to a sudden change in the situation.
- Remember the two-second gap. If you’re unsure of exactly how much space to leave, pick a stationary object at the side of the road. Wait for the car in front of you to pass it and then say “Only a Fool Breaks the Two-Second Rule” at your normal speaking pace. If you can say that phrase before you pass the same stationary object, you’ve left enough distance between you and the car in front.
- Keep a pair of sunglasses in place you don’t have to take your eyes off the road in order to retrieve. If you don’t have such a place, pull over and come to stop before looking for them
Keep Your Pets Safe
Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat to release heat. This makes being stuck in a hot car a very dangerous situation for them.
According to the RSPCA, animals can die from heatstroke in as little time as 15 minutes. Signs of heatstroke in animals include:
- Thick saliva
- Heavy panting
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- Lack of coordination
If you do find your pet is suffering from heatstroke, apply cool wet towels to the stomach, chest, and paws but be careful not to overcool the animal with ice or very cold water. If you are taking your pet for a ride with you on a hot day, remember to include water for them to drink.
The Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.
At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.
Master Instructor, Emeritus