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Summer Safe Driving Tips

Summer Safe Driving Tips

August 7, 2020

The weather in BC is finally heating up and for many drivers that means getting out and about to enjoy the glorious summer we have here in B.C.

But before you get your car revved up for some summer fun, you should familiarize yourself with a few preventative measures to keep it from overheating. By this I’m not referring to the engine, but rather the inside of the vehicle, which can feel like an oven after sitting in the sun for long periods of time.

If you don’t have access to a garage when parking your vehicle for the day, or even a few hours, try to find a shady area. It may mean walking a bit further to your destination but getting into a car that has been sitting in hot weather can sometimes feel like you’re being cooked alive.

I know it may seem like a good idea to leave the windows rolled down to air out your vehicle as you go to run a quick errand, but it’s important to always lock your vehicle doors and close the windows, even if you’re gone for just a couple of minutes. A couple of minutes is all it takes for theft to occur. Instead, utilize the window visors to block the sun’s rays. If you’re looking for even more protection, buy a sunshade to cover your window. They’re relatively inexpensive and you can find ones to block not only the front windshield, but also the side and back windows, for good measure.

If you want to avoid that feeling of a hot seat when you get back into your car – especially ones with vinyl or leather interiors – consider throwing a towel or blanket across them while you’re away. Another trick is to place a small towel on the steering wheel, which will keep your hands from having to grasp a hot surface when you’re ready to drive off.

It’s also a good idea to keep precious items in the car out of the sun, such as electronic devices or food items that could easily melt and potentially stain the interior. Consider placing these items in the trunk or take them with you when you leave the vehicle.

Plan ahead to have some extra water in the car with you at all times, especially in the summer months. The hydration could come in handy in the event of a breakdown or any other unexpected event on the road.

Finally, make sure not to leave any pets in a heated car (or kids, but that should really go without saying). Every summer there are heartbreaking stories of animals left unattended in stuffy, overheated cars with the windows rolled up. When you take your pet to the beach, and want to stop for coffee or lunch along the way, be sure to take him with you even if it’s “just for a minute.” Even with the windows cracked, temperatures in a hot car can multiply in just a few minutes, which is the same amount of time it would take for you to tie his leash up outside in a shady area.

As always, have fun, stay cool and be safe!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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