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How does spring affect our road safety?

¿Cómo afecta la primavera a nuestra seguridad vial?

12/04/2021

Spring is one of the most awaited seasons of the year. The weather is generally more pleasant, the daylight hours increase and we spend more time outdoors. However, we must keep in mind that the arrival of this season also affects our driving safety to some extent. Here we go over some of the aspects to keep in mind. 

-Allergies. Sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion... spring allergy has also arrived along with its annoying symptoms, especially if we are going to drive. As drivers, we may not be in perfect physical condition: itchy eyes and, therefore, difficulty seeing, sneezing that causes distraction and taking our eyes off the road. If the allergy makes it impossible to drive safely, we mustn't drive.It should be noted that, for example, sneezing for 5 seconds in a row while driving at 90 kilometers per hour means not paying attention to the road for more than 125 meters, according to the Traffic agency.

A good option is to check pollen levels and not to drive if there are important warnings or high pollen levels.

-Be careful with medication. It is important to keep in mind that many of the medications taken for allergy cause drowsiness and are therefore adverse to driving. There are currently some antihistamines that do not affect driving, but they are not all the same. This is why you must first consult with your doctor or pharmacist. We must never self-medicate. 

-If you have an allergy, drive with the windows shut. This prevents pollen from entering the passenger compartment.

-More sunlight. This can have its positive and negative side. On one hand, it increases visibility. It is undeniable that driving at night is more dangerous. On the other hand, special caution should be taken with the glare from the sun. Hence we recommend driving with appropriate sunglasses and avoid driving at dusk and dawn, specifically during the hours of peak sunlight, between 2:30pm and 4pm, and between 2am and 5am in the morning. We also recommend not driving in humid areas.

-Temperatures are rising. In general terms, it's warmer weather. We would like to remind you how important it is to never leave a child in the vehicle. This will prevent them from suffering the dreaded heat stroke. Remember that ten minutes is enough time for a child to suffer heat stroke if he or she is inside a vehicle at an outside temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius. The child may experience dizziness, vomiting, headache and tachycardia. Here we offer 10 tips to avoid heat stroke in children and in this other article we address its main symptoms. 

-More car trips, both long and short, without reducing safety. In general, and despite the mobility restrictions imposed by the authorities as a result of the COVID, with the good weather, we tend to go on more long and short distance trips. We should not be overconfident and underestimate the importance of children traveling with an approved child restraint system adapted to their height and weight. They must travel in the rear seats and until reaching a height of 1.35m as established by our legislation (although if the child's physical condition makes it possible, it is preferable to do so until a height of 1.5m). At this point they can travel using an adult seat belt. 

-Keep a close eye on the weather conditions. Spring is well known for rain. We need to be ready to drive in adverse and unexpected weather conditions. 

-Keep the car filters clean to prevent pollen entering the passenger compartment and the transmission of mites and do not use the air conditioning to stop more pollen from entering.

-Clean the vehicle frequently to avoid mites. It is important to clean the windows well so that the sun's glare does not further impair visibility. 

Follow all these tips to enjoy your car trips this spring without unpleasant surprises. 

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