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Chill out on long hot trips.

Byline: By Steve Hughes

With record temperatures predicted this month, driver training expert BSM is warning perspiring motorists to take extra care on their journeys.

BSM road safety expert Keith Cameron, warns: "Temperatures around 35C (95F) or even higher present a completely new challenge to less experienced drivers. We are so unused to them in the UK that even motorists with many miles under their belt can easily forget what they should be doing to stay cool behind the wheel."

BSM's `Cool It' code advises:

NCreate space around yourself while driving, giving you vital extra time to react if another driver loses concentration in the heat.

NOpen your windows and make sure the car is properly ventilated.

NObserve the car's temperature gauge carefully and carry plenty of water in case of an overheating radiator.

If you need to top one up, allow it to cool down before loosening the cap.

NLower your sun visor to avoid dazzle, and do so before setting off rather than as a sudden, distracting reaction en route.

NInspecting your car before setting off on long journeys is even more important in hot weather.

Fluid containers are prone to leaks, tyres are damaged more easily, and summer insects build up on windscreens.

NTiredness kills, so take regular breaks, have a rest, then drink coffee or a caffeine-based drink and have a wash in cold water.

"It's easy and tempting to see only the fun side of taking a drive in hot weather," adds Mr Cameron. "But everyone knows how tempers fray more easily when we are hot and bothered and high temperatures certainly create other dangers too."

Alternatively, simply drive a car with air conditioning, and then you will have no problems, or even one with a refrigerated drinks can cooler, such as Skoda's Fabia or Nissan's X-Trail.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2003
Words:302
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