It’s hot. The heatwave is expected to spread through the country, bringing temperatures up to 10 degrees higher than average. Staying safe and cool in the summer heat is a priority. For drivers, summer can mean back news. For instance, you have to remember that your vehicle doesn’t provide adequate sun protection.
Drivers in the US can get a sunburn through the side window when they are at the steering wheel. So, even if you are technically inside, you should make sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF if you are on the road. Be also vigilant of summer parties, as they can bring more drunk drivers to the road.
But there’s one thing you might not realize: The heat can affect your driving too. Here’s how.
You Can Get Heatstroke at the Wheel
Staying inside a hot vehicle can lead to heatstroke. Indeed, imagine you’ve parked your vehicle in the shade. However, as you return several hours later, the car is fully exposed to the sun. The temperature inside the cabin is likely to be extremely hot and much hotter than the outside temperature. Your body regulates its temperature through sweating. Unfortunately, if the inside of your car is too hot, the body temperature may still rise out of control despite the natural regulation process. Make sure to open the doors and ventilate before sitting inside a hot car to avoid heatstroke. Heatstroke can lead to dizziness, headache, and elevated heart rate.
You Get Drunk More Easily
As mentioned, your body needs to work harder to regulate its temperature in summer. So, you are more likely to experience ignition interlock violation with a breathalyzer, even if you haven’t consumed a lot of alcohol. During extreme heat, your body sweats more, which means it becomes more dehydrated. Therefore, a light alcoholic drink could push you almost over the limit. It is worth seeking legal assistance as soon as it happens to protect your driving license.
You might even feel slightly inebriated after a small drink, even if you don’t use a breathalyzer. Ideally, it’s essential to replenish your hydration levels throughout the day if you want to enjoy a casual drink safely.
You Can Feel Nauseous and Slow
Fatigue is also a common consequence of extreme heat. The body works hard to cope with the situation, regulate its temperature, and manage all essential bodily functions. However, a heatwave is likely to affect your sleep quality and rest time. So, your body is constantly overworked with no possibility for recharging itself at night. Therefore, you can find it hard to drive in the middle of the heat. What you experience is called heat exhaustion. In a vehicle, it often makes drivers feel nauseous or slow to react to obstacles on the road. Hydrating can help reduce symptoms of nausea. But it doesn’t improve your alertness behind the wheel. Tiredness caused by heat-related sleep deprivation can increase the risk of accidents.
Driving in the heat is no fun. If you can’t avoid it, you need to take precautions to ensure you can maintain safe driving on the road. From heatstroke to heat exhaustion, your body is going through a lot. Stay safe this summer and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep your body temperature down.
Are alcoholic drinks allowed? In moderation and with plenty of hydration, you can enjoy a light drink. But we wouldn’t recommend drinking and driving in the heat, even if your alcohol level in the blood remains low.