Hot car safety should be at the forefront of your mind as the summer driving season approaches. Due to all of the glass inherent in modern car design, the greenhouse effect inside a vehicle can very quickly push cabin temperatures past the tolerance limits of both humans and animals on particularly hot, sunny days. There’s also the comfort and fatigue factor to consider. A hot car translates to a dangerous situation for drivers enduring long stretches behind the wheel.
Check out these three hot car safety tips and learn how you can keep yourself cool and your passengers safe throughout the summer months.
1. Consider Tinted Windows and Sunshades
One of the best ways to beat the heat is to do what you can to keep the sun out in the first place. Tinted windows are an excellent option, as the darkened film that you apply to your glass goes a long way toward reducing the amount of UV light entering your cabin, thus lowering temperatures dramatically. When parked, you can combine tints with a sunshade for the front windshield, which typically can’t be legally darkened to the same extent as the side windows due to visibility concerns. Sunshades are a simple way to further insulate your vehicle.
2. Keep Your Car Locked
This sounds like a simple safety tip, but it’s easy to forget that an unlocked car can be an inviting place for children to play. It’s something familiar, which means most young ones have no compunctions about opening the door to your vehicle and clambering inside. On a very hot day, cabin temperatures can quickly climb to a dangerous level, which could potentially put a child in danger. A locked car ensures that you won’t have anyone playing hide-and-seek inside of it when it’s as hot as an oven outside.
3. Keep Water in the Car
On a long road trip, it’s easy to forget about the need to stay hydrated — something that becomes that much more important when it’s very hot inside of your vehicle. As your body begins to overheat, your ability to concentrate and make quick decisions and judgment calls starts to falter, which can be quite dangerous while driving. Keep bottles of water in your car, within arm’s reach, and regularly drink that water while driving.
Follow this advice and you’ll be able to keep yourself and your family that much safer during the summer season.
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Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.