How to Drive in the Extreme Weather Condition Safely
It is a fact, the climatic conditions of the environment, which cool or overheat the cabin, condition, and directly influence the ability and behavior of the driver.
It is proven that excess cold or heat inside the vehicle increases driving errors and accidents, both by seizure and numbness. The specialists warn that when facing extreme temperatures, the attention in the conduction diminished, the assimilation of information slowed down, and the visual acuity minimized, which in turn increases the reaction time and increases the levels of aggressiveness, especially if the temperature extreme stays for a long time.
Research carried out by the Center for Experimentation and Road Safety (Cesvi Colombia) shows that less than 10 ° C and more than 30 ° C, driving failures increase by 20%, and a driver’s reaction time increases by 22%. In that sense, an emergency braking can take more than double the distance, when executed by a driver affected by extreme temperature, compared to those who do it in ideal conditions.
While it is important to take measures to protect yourself from extreme heat or cold, depending on the city where you are traveling, the truth is that the driver’s main defense resource is air conditioning. It ceased to be a luxury to become an ally of active safety, even in temperate or cold-weather regions.
To avoid being affected by cold or extreme heat, consider some recommendations:
In conditions of extreme cold
– In case of withstanding very low temperatures, keep in mind that it is important to air-condition the cabin with the air conditioning; however, it is recommended not to raise the temperature of the cabin excessively to avoid thermal shock when getting out of the vehicle. If the driver warns that the cold is numbing him, it is best to stop and drink a hot drink, to increase body temperature.
– Keep in mind that rain or very low temperatures may affect visibility due to the fogging of vehicle glasses; in that case, the air conditioning system helps dehumidify the cabin.
– To heat the cabin temperature, remember that it is directing the airflow to the floor, as hot air tends to rise.
– In any case, keep in mind that trying to combat extreme cold only with clothing (very bulky jackets or gloves with little grip) can affect maneuverability at the wheel.
– Finally, remember that extreme cold also affects tire pressure, which drops similarly to the outside temperature. It estimated that for every 5 ° C, the thermometer drops, the pressure is reduced by one psi (0.07 bar); Therefore, it is prudent to check the inflation pressure constantly.
In extreme heat conditions
– It is important to try to keep the cabin temperature between 19 ° C and 24 ° C, where the best ally is the air conditioner.
– In order not to disturb the passengers (the throat can be affected by a constant current of cold air), the most advisable thing is to direct the flow of air towards the floor.
– It seems obvious, but in very hot days or regions, it is advisable to travel very early or late afternoon, which is when the sun generates less heat in the environment.
– It is not advisable to go with a full quota (cargo and passenger), since the thermal sensation increases and the volume of air available for each passenger decrease, affecting comfort.
– Stay hydrated and, if possible, make regular stops to rest and air the cabin.
– Before starting a tour, it is important to acclimatize the cabin. Still, it is prudent to do so not only with the A / C. The idea is first to lower the windows, so that the accumulated hot air circulates, then they close and then if the air conditioning is activated.
– In coastal or tourist areas, it is very important not to drive barefoot or with open shoes (flip flops), because the precision and speed of pedal management are affected.