Cool down the car quickly
Even if you have air conditioning, you should ventilate a heated car with the doors and windows open before you start driving. Only then is the system switched on, initially to circulating air. The car cools down faster because no hot air is supplied from the outside. The air outlet nozzles should only be aimed at parts of the body that are clothed. If the air, which is up to four degrees cold, hits bare skin directly, there is a risk of colds and muscle strains. In general, the difference between inside and outside temperature should not be too great. Otherwise there is a risk of heat shock when getting out of the car. Experts recommend a maximum difference of six degrees.
Which sunglasses are the right ones?
Not everything that looks good on the nose is suitable for driving a car. Brown, gray and gray-green glasses are best, while blue glasses dilute the perception of the colors red and yellow. The degree of tint is also important. Drivers have to pay attention to the so-called anti-glare levels: Levels 0 to three are ok at the wheel – they absorb up to 92 percent of the light. Even darker glasses – such as those used by mountaineering glasses – are not suitable for road traffic. The following applies to the fit: The glasses should be as close as possible to the forehead and nose and have wide temples to keep out stray light.
Do not fill up in summer
In very hot weather, you should not refuel your vehicle. Because when the outside temperature is high, gasoline and diesel expand. If the tank is then filled to the brim, it threatens to overflow. This increases the risk of fire. If the fuel escapes from the tank cap, the paintwork can also be damaged, which is accelerated by strong sunlight. Nozzles have an automatic switch-off, which is supposed to prevent the tank from overfilling. But many drivers continue to refill, especially before long journeys or when fuel prices are low for a short time.
Do not park the vehicle in dry meadows
Parking in meadows, in forests or in the harvested fields in late summer is not a good idea, especially if the drought continues. Hot catalytic converters and exhaust systems can quickly trigger fires there, because the components develop temperatures of more than 600 degrees Celsius after just a short drive. Although motor vehicle liability covers damage to third-party vehicles, fully comprehensive insurance may reduce the cost of assuming your own car with reference to gross negligence. The fire brigade can also issue an invoice for the operation
Beware of heat damage on the street
It’s not just the frost that is blocking the roads, the heat is also causing problems. The so-called blowups on concrete highways are particularly spectacular and dangerous. If it suddenly becomes hot and the heat lasts for several days, the inflexible road surface can bulge and burst. Around 30 percent of German autobahns have a concrete surface – recognizable by their lighter appearance compared to asphalt and by the persistent transverse joints. Drivers should drive particularly carefully on such routes, motorcyclists better avoid them completely. There is no risk of blow-up on asphalt roads. However, the soft tar can deform there in the heat, creating deep ruts. During a summer thunderstorm there is then an increased risk of aquaplaning.
Even if you sit in an air-conditioned car and don’t sweat, you should drink a lot in summer. Because the system removes moisture from the air, so that the mucous membranes in the nose and eyes dry out. Lack of fluids leads to headaches and difficulty concentrating, which increases the risk of accidents. Experts recommend mineral water rich in magnesium for motorists, which in addition to the liquid also provides important minerals and trace elements. Sweet lemonades are not recommended. The sugar provides energy for a short time, but then it lets the body and mind fall into a performance gap.
Choose airy clothing
Light clothing makes it easier to bear the summer heat while driving. If you want, you can sit in your car in a bikini or swimming trunks, but if you drive completely naked or topless as a woman, you risk a complaint for causing public nuisance. In addition, driving largely unclothed is not pleasant, especially in cars with leather seats: the upholstery heats up extremely in the sun, making skin contact painful. When sitting, an unpleasant film of sweat forms between the leather and the skin. The same applies to footwear: not everything that is allowed makes sense. Flip-flops or bare feet are not forbidden, but they are still not roadworthy – for example during sudden braking maneuvers. If there is an accident, there may be a fine, and the insurance can cause trouble.
Sun protection when parking
If you park your car in the blazing sun, you not only have to reckon with hot air and glowing seat belts, but in extreme cases also with electronic damage. The components are designed for temperatures between minus 40 and plus 85 degrees – a value that can definitely be achieved in midsummer. The thermal expansion and subsequent cooling in the airstream can cause hairline cracks to form in the circuit boards. Then there is a risk of control units failing and the vehicle breaking down. If you can’t find a parking space in the shade, you should at least put a sunscreen behind the windshield that reflects the sun’s rays and keeps the dashboard and steering wheel cool. If you take children with you in the car, you should also cover the rear windows so that the child seats do not get too hot.
Do not leave children or dogs in the car
In the summer sunshine, the car quickly becomes an incubator. At 30 degrees outside temperature, the inside is almost 60 degrees after just 60 minutes. But just 15 minutes in the blazing sun can heat up a car so much that the occupants suffer a circulatory collapse. This also applies when the car is parked in the shade. Children waiting in the car can suffer from heat shock or even respiratory arrest after a short time. This is even faster with animals. Because they heat up faster than humans, even a mild breeze through open windows doesn’t help them. If there is a threat to the occupants, the police or fire brigade may force open the vehicle. If people are injured in an overheated car who could not help themselves, the driver faces criminal prosecution for negligent bodily harm. (Authors: hh / sp-x, tv)