Beat The Heat: keeping your parked car cool
When temperatures in Utah approach the triple digits, it can practically turn our cars into little ovens. In fact, the interior of cars can reach upwards of 140 degrees remarkably fast making the heat of parked cars more than just a nuisance — it can be dangerous.
We often discuss safety while driving, but it's important to remember that even parked cars require our attention and caution. And even more importantly than protecting your steering wheel, dash or seats is protecting those you transport in your car: you, your family and pets.
Kids or pets and hot cars don't mix. Keep these five tips in mind this summer:
- Never leave your child alone in a vehicle — even with the windows down — because of how quickly a vehicle's interior can heat to dangerous temperatures. Leaving children in the car with the air conditioning running can be just as dangerous as leaving them in a hot car. Your child may accidentally put the car into drive or even get caught in a closing power window.
- Metal and plastics can heat quickly and can burn just as fast. When leavening your car in the sun for an extended period of time, be sure to cover metal and plastics parts on seat belts and child safety seats to prevent burns when you return.
- Before leaving the car in the sun for an extended amount of time, cover metal and plastic parts on seat belts and child safety seats. Allowing those to be in the sun can make them incredibly hot — hot enough to burn you or your child.
- When you return to the car, be sure to check the temperature of the car seat before buckling your child in. It only takes one second for skin touching a car seat surface over 180 degrees to severely burn.
- Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet. Leaving the window open will not keep the car significantly cool enough to prevent the heat building to an unbearable level.
Here are seven tips to beat the heat and prolong the life your car's interior:
- After parking, put sun-blocking visors against the inside of your windshield and back window to help keep out the sun.
- Keep towels in your car and lay them on leather or vinyl seats, which can get extremely hot in the summer. Even if you have used visors, the sun might come in directly on the seats through the side windows, so cover the seats to protect them and your passenger's skin.
- If you don't have a visor for your dash, cover the steering wheel with a fabric to save your hands from burning. Make sure that the steering wheel is a temperature that you can firmly hold on to before attempting to drive anywhere.
- Consider using stick-on window shades or tinting; these can significantly reduce the amount of sun and heat that penetrate your car windows.
- Of course, you know to park in the shade. But if there is no shade, try to park so that the sun comes in the back window. At least that way the front dash, steering wheel, and seats do not get as hot.
- When it is really hot out, open the vehicle's doors and let the interior cool for a few minutes before entering.
- Once you enter a hot car, turn the air conditioning to high and open your windows a couple of inches. This will efficiently lower the interior temperatures because the cool air produced will displace the hot air, pushing it out the windows. As soon as it's cooled down, close the windows.
So, whether you are just running into the store to grab something really quickly, or you are parking all day at the water park, remember these tips to make keep you and your car from overheating this summer!
This article was originally published by KSL, July 15, 2013. Written by Rolayne Fairclough a KSL.com contributor.
Shop Safety - Keeping Us All Safe
Fleet mechanics have a difficult task to accomplish requiring them to overcome many hazards. Their job also has many unique safety concerns we are not always aware of.
Many of their work areas require safety glasses, hard toed and slip resistant foot wear and flame resistive clothing. If you are in these work areas without the same protection, we are violating their safety rules.
Always check in with the shop supervisor if you must visit their shop, check on a vehicle or visit equipment being repaired. Consider the fact that we create a hazard for them by just being in their shop.
Below are some simple steps we can follow to help ensure our safety, their safety, and show respect for their profession.
Respect their work areas and remember we are guests while in their complex.
- Do not walk through their bays to short cut your walk. By nature of their work, mechanic work areas have many trip and slip hazards such as air hoses, tools, fluids or parts on the ground.
- Do not park vehicles behind parked vehicles in bays unless told to do so by a mechanic or the shop supervisor.
- Always park in the designated parking areas. When you write up a vehicle for repairs ask the service writer where they would like it parked.
- Do not loiter in their work areas. They have very expensive tools they are responsible for and nobody likes having someone look over their shoulders while they are working.
Always keep in mind that mechanics at any time could be operating or testing a piece of equipment such as a grabber arm on a sanitation truck. Staying out of their work areas will not only reduce their stress but will also help to eliminate the likelihood of an accident.
New Motor Pool Location at the Viridian Event Center
Motor Pool is now available at the Library Viridian Event Center located at 8030 South 1825 West in West Jordan.
Parking for the Motor Pool is located in the South/East corner of the parking lot.
The Keybox is located inside the Event center. Enter through the South doors and turn right and right again and you will see it on the South/East wall.
The Motor Pool location at the Government Center (2100 South) is still available
Driver Safety 101
Safe Driving Tips from BusinessFleet.com
1. Perform a 360-degree scan. This scan includes looking behind as well as to the left and right. Scanning helps to establish an escape route if needed.
“If you know what’s going on around you, then you know where you can go in case something happens,” says Moser. “You will know your escape route to the left, to the right, etc.”
When driving down a residential street, use peripheral vision to scan door to door. A child or pet could suddenly run out into the street.
2. Check mirrors every 5 to 6 seconds. When going 65 miles per hour on a highway, you travel one football field every three seconds.
“We want that split second of extra time to avoid a collision,” says Moser.
Checking the mirrors can also help avoid back-up collisions, the most common collisions in the United States. A common back-up collision occurs when drivers sideswipe something while backing up. This happens often in parking lots.
3. Don’t depend on the back-up camera. A vehicle’s back-up camera should be used as a supplement when driving, especially since the camera can give a bit of a distorted view.
“The best method is to look over your right shoulder and leave your left hand on the steering wheel,” says Moser.
If drivers can’t look through a vehicle’s back window, they need to depend on their side mirrors rather than just relying on the back-up camera.
4. Hands need to be at 9 and 3 on the steering wheel. The “10 and 2” steering wheel rule has changed to “9 and 3.” Holding hands at a 9 and 3 position provides a better steering radius. Additionally, “it gives more room for the airbag to deploy,” says Moser.
When turning, avoid reaching inside the wheel using an underhand grip. A driver’s arm or hand could break if he or she gets into a collision and the airbag deploys.
5. When steering around something, coast. Don’t hit the gas or brake when steering around an object. The last thing a driver wants to do is increase speed, Moser says. Let the vehicle coast through the steering action.
“You are five times more likely to avoid a collision with something by steering around it rather than trying to stop,” says Moser. This means a driver can turn to avoid an object five times faster than trying to stop before hitting it.
6. After going around an obstacle, get steering back to zero. Many drivers get into trouble when they keep the steering wheel turned after steering to avoid an obstacle.
“To help recover your steering, it’s important to get your steering back to zero as soon as possible,” says Moser. “You want your vehicle’s tires flat on the road surface.”
7. Don’t pump an anti-lock brake. A driver should avoid pumping an anti-lock brake (ABS); the system is designed to do the braking for you.
Moser and the ADTS team advise drivers to utilize “threshold braking,” in which the driver eases the brake pedal slightly to avoid turning on ABS while maximizing stopping ability. “It’s the quickest way you can stop.”
8. Avoid two-foot braking. Drivers need to keep their left foot on the floor board.
“If you have both feet up, all of your body weight will be thrown forward onto the pedals,” says Moser. “Then you can’t control the brake pressure.”
9. Look at what’s ahead. Instead of looking at a turn, concentrate on what’s ahead after the turn. Your hands will follow your eyes.
“When a driver looks toward an object on the road such as a guard rail, he or she will start to steer toward the object,” says Moser. “Look where you want to go and your hands will follow.”
10. Continue driver training courses on a regular basis. To keep safety at the forefront, fleets need to consistently demonstrate the importance of safe driving. It doesn’t have to be an expensive effort to reinforce safe driver techniques.
“We have had clients that train their fleet drivers but then don’t do anything to follow up,” says Moser. “Crashes initially go down but will start to slowly creep back up again when a company isn’t reinforcing safe driving techniques.”
Winter driving tips:
- Be prepared. Plan accordingly by checking weather
forecasts and allow extra time for traffic delays.
- Be aware of slip hazards. Wear boots
with good traction and keep your steps clear of ice and snow. Enter in and out of larger vehicles and
equipment facing the steps while using three points of contact.
- Check your equipment.
Check all important items,
including tires, wiper blades, fluids and lights. Check your vehicle often and keep your lights
and steps clear of snow and ice buildup.
Tie down your loads, shifting loads and icy road conditions are not a
- Slow down and give yourself extra space. Compensate
for poor traction by slowing down and making movements gently – never drive
faster than conditions allow.
- Beware of black ice.
Black ice can fool drivers
into thinking its water and is likely to form first on bridges, overpasses and shady
spots. If you hit black ice don’t panic
or hit the brakes; if possible, gently steer in the same direction you are
- Braking. Do not become overconfident just because you have
antilock brakes. Antilock brakes will
not overcome poor driving habits.
- Always wear your seat belt!!!
Our ASE Certified Technicians can help you prepare your County vehicle for winter driving.
Call us today! 385-468-0502