Seasonal perils impact drivers

Thursday 24th May, 2012 at 14:05 COMMENTS (2)

As the bout of recent heavy rain subsides, instead, making way for the glorious sunny days, motorists are urged to take to the road with caution. 

When the topic turns to seasonal perils, drivers tend to think of the dangers borne by winter's snow, sleet, ice and freezing temperatures.  But the cold weather months don't hold a monopoly on seasonal scares that impact cars and driving. 

Sizzling summer days also hold threats.  When it's hot, drivers are subjected to the relaxed feel good mood associated with holidays but beware. 

Hay fever

Dosed-up hay fever sufferers are risking being involved in an accident after confessing to dizziness and drowsiness at the wheel, new research has revealed. 
Sore, streaming eyes can impair vision, while constant sneezing due to the pollen allergy can force drivers to close their eyes. 

Sneezing and watering eyes will result in some 700,000 drivers who have hay fever having their eyes shut for 60 seconds out of every 45 minutes of driving time, and if you sneeze at 70mph you lose your vision for as much as 100 metres. 

Researchers found more than a quarter of motorists regularly take to the roads despite suffering from hay fever.  And a third of sufferers say they have momentarily lost concentration while driving. 

Scientists say this summer is set to be one of the worst ever for hay-fever sufferers with twice as many people suffer today compared with 20 years ago. 

Flip flops

Driving with flip flops may feel amazing as you may feel the wind running through your toes; however, it can greatly increase the danger in driving. 

Driving with flip flops on can be more dangerous than driving over a patch of black ice or in wet and rainy conditions. 

Risk of Falling Off

Most flip flops are only able to stay on your feet because they are positioned with your toes up when you are driving; when you change the position of your feet to any angle other than 90 degrees you are increasing the chances of them falling off. 

Although we know that our feet are pretty much kept at a 90 degree angle the entire time that we are driving, those short moments in which their angle changes pose as a huge risk for the footwear falling off! You may think that there is a small chance that this will happen and continue to wear flip flops when you drive.  Just remember that doing this is like playing with fire; if you do it often enough you will get burned sooner or later. 

Flip Flop Could Get Caught In the Pedal

This risk also has great potential to cause danger to you while driving.  This is mainly because this type of footwear has an open concept at the front.  This occurrence poses less of a threat to your ability to drive safely than your footwear completely coming off of your foot because you will still possess the ability to brake to the car's full capability. 

You should also avoid wearing slippers and sandals while driving as they pose basically the same threats to your safety. 
The next time that you are going to wear this type of footwear and are about to drive somewhere, grab a pair of shoes and ensure that you get there safely. 

Wasps and flying things

I know it's bizarre, but this happened recently to a recently qualified driver whilst enjoying a drive in the sun. 

A little blighter flew in whist driving along a dual carriageway and caused the young lady to panic which resulted in crashing into a kerb at 50mph. 

Open car windows obviously leave room for stinging insects to end up inside your car.  The insect may become panicked when it realizes it is trapped and could be more prone to stinging, not to mention driving with a wasp or bee flying around your head isn't exactly safe. 

A survey revealed 70% of men and 78% of women admitting to becoming distracted by unwanted insect attention whilst at the wheel. 

Interestingly, women cited concern about allergic reactions from bites and stings as the reason for becoming distracted, whereas most men were concerned about the physical pain of a bite or sting. 

Some useful tips for staying safe when faced with an insect in the car:

· Slow down; keep your eyes on the road, and not on the insect. 
· Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so and open all windows to let the insect escape of its own accord. 
· If you can't park your car safely, then open the windows to allow the insect to fly out. 
· Avoid making any swatting or flailing movements as this will irritate the insects and increase the chance that you will be stung or bitten. 

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Recommended reading: Mobile phones and driving


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