Hot weather can increase the risk of dangerous driving experts warn

Close-up of male driver’s hand checking the air conditioning in a car.

Do you like driving with your windows down, or prefer having the air conditioning on when the weather gets hot?

According to the experts at Moneyshake, getting behind the wheel in a poorly ventilated car when the temperature is up could increase your risk of driving dangerously, or put others at risk – which could result in you being issued with 11 penalty points and an unlimited fine.

Keep your car ventilated

Moneyshake is advising drivers to keep their cars well-ventilated at all times to avoid the risk of drowsiness behind the wheel. They point out that while driving when tired isn’t in itself an offence, the AA says it can increase your chances of driving dangerously.

The advice is in line with the Highway Code’s rule 237 about hot weather.

The code also warns drivers to be careful if weather conditions

change: “Be aware that the road surface may become soft, or if it rains after a dry spell, it may become slippery. These conditions could affect your steering and braking. If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop.”

Eben Lovatt, CEO at Moneyshake said: “While some offences seem unlikely to result in a fine it’s still very possible that you could be penalised for not following the Highway Code in hot weather.”

He added that heatwaves are for enjoying, not for losing your licence.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

Driving in a heatwave? Here are the symptoms you should look out for if you think you or your passenger(s) are suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Being very thirsty.
  • Suffering from muscle cramps, headaches and increased sweating.
  • Having cold, clammy skin.
  • Being sick or nauseous.
  • Feeling faint.
  • Getting dizzy and confused
  • Having a temperature of 38C or above

If you experience these symptoms, you should:

  • Find a cool place indoors.
  • Remove as much clothing as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Lie down and slightly raise your feet.
  • Spray your skin with cool water or fan yourself.

Plan ahead

The RAC says rising temperatures and traffic jams can lead to drivers becoming stressed on the roads. It advises you to plan your routes in advance and take regular breaks.

Manage your driving emotions with our top tips.

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