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Driving in a heatwave – how to keep your cool

August 12, 2020 by

Get a good nights sleep & take regular breaks

It’s important to be well-rested ahead of any journey, but it’s even more vital when you’ll be travelling in very hot weather.

High temperatures are more likely to make you feel drowsy and they can affect your driving ability, your reaction times, and your concentration levels. At least 7 hours of sleep ahead of any drive in a warm car is recommended.

If your vehicle comes without air conditioning, it’s recommended that you stop for breaks at least every 90 minutes to let everyone get some fresh air and stretch their legs. It’s also a good idea to plan journeys around the cooler parts of the day and avoid being in the car between the hours of 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Check your vehicle

Extreme heat can affect cars just as badly as it can affect our bodies, so a quick check on certain key areas before setting off on a journey will help prevent any issues mid-drive.

It’s advisable to check your engine oil and water coolant levels. It is also worth stopping by your local petrol station to pump up your tyres and stock up on screen wash – you never know what might happen. It sounds obvious, but try to park in the shade when you arrive.

Stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated during periods of prolonged heat is very important. A substantial amount of water stocked in the car is even more necessary during warm car journeys, regardless of how short you expect the trip to be.

Should your car break down, it could take hours for a repair vehicle to find you, so make sure you have plenty of liquid on hand.

Consider pollen levels

Pollen levels tend to rise during the very warm weather, so motorists who suffer from hayfever may feel more comfortable asking someone else to drive. If you’re travelling on your own, keep your windows and sunroof closed and set your air conditioning to recirculate to keep out as much pollen as possible.

Protect your children and pets

It goes without saying that children and animals should never be left unattended in cars during very hot weather.

When on the move, keep them as hydrated as possible with water and, in the case of children, hydrating snacks such as fresh fruit, cucumber, tomatoes, or ice lollies. It’s also wise to dress your kids in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and to use shades on your windows to protect their eyes from the sun if your vehicle comes without tinted windows.

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