Car Safety in Hot Aussie Summers

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The heatwaves in Australia are getting intense, hot enough to melt asphalt. Driving in the heat or leaving your car out in the sun is becoming more dangerous, and tragedies have already been reported.

Don’t Leave Your Kids or Pets in the Car

If you’re parked outside, temperatures inside your car can reach 70°C. Two kids in a suburb south of Brisbane died after being left inside a vehicle, with the mother facing murder charges. Cars left in the sun can reach dangerous temperatures within an hour. Parking in the shade can still expose a vehicle to the heat of its surroundings, and heat transfer can make temperatures unbearable in a couple of hours. With their small physiques, children and pets are especially vulnerable to extreme heat and should always be supervised when inside a vehicle. Merely opening the windows is not enough as the heat outside can become overwhelming.

Try to Keep to the Shade

Parking in the shade is still a better option than leaving your car in the sun. Garages, carports, or covered parking protects your vehicle from direct sunlight and mitigates the effects of high temperatures. The summer heat can damage your car’s paint, and high temperatures can damage your tires or even melt your windshield wipers. Keeping your vehicle in a carport allows you to get to your commutes in the morning without having to air it out to make it comfortable.

Keep Your Cool

Driving in a heatwave can be dangerous. Check your clutch and brake fluid levels regularly and make sure your car doesn’t overheat. The heat will also change the air pressure in your tires, over-inflating them. Over-inflated tires lose traction and are more vulnerable to punctures. The heat is also bound to affect your driving. Several studies have noted that a rise in temperature of a few degrees (21°C to 27°C) can be enough to make drivers miss signals 50 percent of the time. Driver response times are also longer by 22 percent. Make sure your car is cool enough before you drive and have it checked before the summer starts.

Guard Your Car Against UV

woman driving a car

Intense sunlight brings higher levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV is the primary cause of skin aging, as well as the majority of skin cancers. The short amount you spend driving exposes you to UV, and sun damage builds up every day to the point of changing your skin’s DNA. Your car’s windshield has enough UV protection. However, your windows don’t, exposing the right side of your body to the sun.

Several studies have noted that there is a correlation between the development of skin cancers and driving. Australians and UK residents will have skin cancer on the right side, while U.S. residents will develop theirs on the left. Treat your car with UV-filtering film. UV film can block 99 percent of UV radiation and make your drives safer.

The heatwaves are bound to happen, and Aussie roads will be more dangerous. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the heat and make sure your car is in good condition.

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