Ensuring a Cool Drive

Print Edition: July 2012

We often have to deal with annoyances because we neglected things that seemed trivial. Here is a checklist to make travelling in the summer easier, especially covering long distances.


One For The Road:
Always carry at least a couple of bottles of water when you start. Drinking at least two glasses of water every hour while driving is the minimum to avoid dehydration.

Driving tips for summersTinted Glass:
Ultra-violet light can damage skin, eyes and prolonged exposure can cause skin cancer. Some protection, as allowed by law (sunfilms are banned but manufacturer's tinting is allowed), can make a big difference.

First-Aid Kit:
When you are driving for long periods in the scorching heat, your body will lose a lot of essential salts and electrolytes as you perspire. To be prepared for emergencies, its best to keep packets of electrolytes and necessary medicines handy.

Driving tips for summersInsulated Bags:
The heat is not only damaging to your skin but also speeds up damage to food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Store them in insulated bags and keep it under the front seats, an air-cooled glove box or the compartment under the armrest.

Emergency Tools:
You cannot rule out minor breakdowns on a long journey no matter how well you service the car. So it's best to carry an emergency tool kit. You do not want to be stranded in the blazing sun waiting for the friendly neighbourhood mechanic because you left the tool kit at home.


Driving tips for summersAs Hot As Hell Is Imagined To Be:
The internal temperature of a car parked in sunlight can reach between 55-60 degrees Celsius. Try to park in the shade and do not leave children or pets inside, even with the windows open. Temperatures can rise as much as 12 degrees within 15-20 minutes.

Protect Your Data:
CDs when left in direct sunlight or even left inside your car would have the layer containing the data peeling off as temperatures rise (66 degrees Celsius). Avoid leaving CDs on the dashboard or in direct sunlight.

Driving tips for summersAn Uncluttered Car Is Cooler:
Air conditioning reduces the mileage of the car. It's imperative to remove all non-essential items from inside the car so that the AC is not over-burdened while cooling the interiors of the car.

Alcohol Dehydrates:
Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverage during the day as it can lead to a severe dehydration. It is also advisable not to drink even 24 hours before a long drive as sitting at the wheel for long spells is exhausting and dehydrating.

Driving tips for summersBuy Fuel, Not Vapour:
Avoid buying petrol or diesel during a hot day. Petrol is sold by volume at presumed 20 degrees Celsius. Typical day temperatures can cross 40 degrees in India. At that temperature the fuel expands and you get less volume than paid for. Try filling up at early mornings or evenings.

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