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by Staff Blogger | February 16, 2024

It’s not uncommon for Nashville to be hit by heat waves with temperatures reaching nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. According to WPLN News, Music City saw temperatures soar to at least 90 degrees for 28 days in a row during the summer of 2022, and the city reached the 100-degree mark that year for the first time since 2012. 

Extreme heat can put everyone in danger, and it can even affect your daily commute and how to handle running errands around town.

Keep these tips in mind to stay safe during summer heat waves.

Ensure Your Tires Are Properly Inflated

When the air temperature is around 100 degrees, the surface temperature of the asphalt can be significantly hotter than that. That level of heat can be extremely hard on your tires, especially if they are under or overinflated.

Improperly inflated tires are prone to failure or blowouts in normal conditions, and extreme heat makes those situations even more likely to occur.

Avoid Driving if Your Air Conditioner Doesn’t Work

Rolling down your vehicle’s windows can help make driving or sitting in traffic more comfortable on hot days, but when temperatures are extremely high, only air conditioning can truly provide relief. If your vehicle’s AC doesn’t work, avoid driving if possible. Sitting in a hot car, especially when stationary, can put you and your passengers—especially children and pets—at significant risk of heat stroke, which can prove quickly fatal if left untreated.

Check Your Vehicle’s Fluid Levels

When temperatures hit extreme levels and stay there for several days, it can cause some of your vehicle’s essential fluids to evaporate. Check your vehicle’s oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid regularly to ensure their levels are at the manufacturer recommendations.

Monitor Your Vehicle’s Battery Health

Extreme heat can severely affect battery fluid, leading to faster evaporation and potentially weakening the battery’s charge. A weak battery may fail to start your car, leaving you stranded in the heat.

Regularly check your battery’s charge level and look for signs of corrosion on the terminals. Consider getting a professional battery check during peak summer months to ensure it’s in good condition.

Plan Your Travel Times

During heat waves, the hottest part of the day typically falls between noon and early evening, when the sun is high in the sky. Traveling during these times can increase the strain on your vehicle and make any breakdowns more dangerous due to the heat.

Whenever possible, plan your drives during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This can help reduce the heat-related stress on your vehicle and yourself.

Use Sunshades and Window Covers

Parking in direct sunlight can significantly increase the temperature inside your vehicle, making it uncomfortable to return to and putting additional strain on your air conditioning system when you start driving again.

Use sunshades on your windshield and other windows when parked. This can help keep the interior of your car cooler. Also, try to park in shaded or covered areas whenever possible.

If You Need Legal Help Following a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault, Contact Ponce Law

It’s important to remember that while extreme weather can increase your risks when driving, crashes can happen anytime, anywhere. If you or someone you love gets injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced Nashville car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Originally published June 15, 2022.

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