A Reminder: Tips For Driving In Hot Weather

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)- – Summer months are upon us with high temperatures in store.  Below are some tips to think about before your trip across the desert or other remote areas.

  • First – know before you go!  Check IE511.org or call “511” from the Inland Empire.  You may also go Caltrans website to check for road conditions and closures at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or the California Highway Patrol (CHP) website at http://cad.chp.ca.gov/.
  • Tires and heat conditions. High temperatures and hot pavement can have an effect on tires that are worn or not properly inflated and could result in flats or blowouts.  At high speeds this can be extremely dangerous causing your vehicle to overturn and/or lose control.
    • Pull over and give your tires a break when driving long distances.
    • Check your tire pressure frequently – carry a tire gauge with you.
    • Take your tires to a professional to have the tread inspected.  Replace worn tires.
    • What to do if you have a blow out:
      • Step on the accelerator for an instant to preserve vehicle momentum (or at least maintain constant accelerator pedal pressure).
      • Offset the pulling caused by the blown tire by gently counter steering to keep the vehicle in its lane.
      • Once the vehicle is stabilized, gently slow down and begin to carefully pull over to the side of the road.
  • Make sure your vehicle is on good running condition. Have a full tank of gas.  If you plan to travel across the desert, air conditioning is recommended – HOWEVER, heed warning signs on steep inclines to turn off air conditioning in hot weather.
  • When driving in hot weather, it’s particularly important to keep an eye on the lights and gauges on your dashboard. If your temperature gauge moves up, turn off your air conditioner and turn on your vehicle’s heater to its highest and hottest setting. It will, no doubt, make you uncomfortable, but it will help draw some of the heat away from the engine.
  • If you are stopped in traffic, put the car in “park” and lightly step on the gas to help circulate coolant.
  • If the temperature light goes on or if the gauge enters the red zone, immediately pull off the road to a safe spot, well away from traffic. Do not drive any further — not even to the next exit. Driving with an overheated engine can cause tremendous damage to the engine.  Do not attempt to remove the radiator cap while your vehicle is hot.  Call CHP or AAA for assistance.
  • Bring WATER, snacks, necessary medications, sturdy waking shoes and a hat.  Stop periodically to refresh yourself.  Bring moist towelettes and always have a charged cell phone.
  • California Safety Roadside Rest Areas (SRRA’s) may close without notice for repairs on I-10, I-15, and I-40.  Be sure you plan your trip ahead to stop at other locations for facilities.
  • In the event of monsoons or storms – NEVER CROSS RUNNING WATER ON FOOT OR IN YOUR VEHICLE.
  • Listen to the radio or watch local news on TV before and while you travel for road conditions.

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