Heat stress should not be a problem for city dwellers who have air conditioning on high, and as long as they don’t spend too much time running errands or working in businesses. However, it is impossible to avoid heat stress when traveling the Trans-Canada highway in the scorching summer months. While you must ensure your air conditioner functions without any problem, you will also need to be careful about sun exposure during the stopovers.
Now that British Columbians can travel to other provinces, it is time to prepare yourselves with some summer travel tips. This article from Insurance Broker BC offers a detailed guide on how to beat the heat stress while on a road trip.
Six tips to avoid heat stress this summer in British Columbia
1. Recognize Warning Signs
There’s a difference between feeling uncomfortable because of heat and feeling legitimately concerned. Be aware of the symptoms and signs of heat stress during your drive.
Increased heart rate
Cool, pale, and clammy skin
Side effects of chemotherapy include nausea and headaches.
Fatigue and weakness
It should be noted that all of the above symptoms can limit your ability to drive and could result in an accident. All heat stress signs and symptoms need to be recognized and treated immediately.
2. If the vehicle is not electric, keep the interior temperature down.
Before you go on a long trip, make sure your vehicle’s AC is working properly. On hot days, keep the air conditioner running. If you are traveling with someone sensitive or dislikes air conditioning, turn it off at lower temperatures (at higher altitudes) during your trip. This will allow you to cool the vehicle and let it fill with fresh, natural air.
You need to be extra cautious when you are using an electric vehicle to drive on a BC road during summer. There is a higher chance of experiencing heat stress while driving an electric vehicle (EV) . Electric vehicles use a lot of electricity to run the air conditioning, an extremely dangerous scenario if you’re going on a British Columbia road trip during summer. No risk of heat exhaustion is greater than being stuck on a BC highway for a long period of time without power or water.
The heat stress risk must be taken seriously when such a large number of electric vehicles are registered in BC. You should be aware of the various tips for maximizing your air conditioner usage in electric vehicles. Then, follow the rest of the guidelines as you normally would.
3. Make sure you drink lots of water
People will sometimes forgo water during long drives to avoid the need to stop at the bathroom. However, this minor inconvenience pales in comparison to the dangers of heat exhaustion and dehydration. You should always have at least one liter of water on you and a case of bottled water in your trunk in case you run low. You should stick to high-water foods like cucumber slices, celery sticks and strawberries. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks (coffees, teas, energy drinks, etc.) to prevent dehydration. High-sodium foods and beverages will only make you thirstier.
4. Keep cool by wearing light-weight clothes
Keep it simple when you are on a hot weather commute or road trip. For travel to higher altitudes or when the air conditioner becomes too hot, light, loose-fitting clothing is recommended.
5. Coordinate your driving time with the sun’s position.
Your long journeys should be planned around the best times of the day. For example, when the sun is lower, and the temperatures are cooler. To avoid the heat and humidity that can descend as you travel from Vancouver to Kelowna during the summer or late spring, leave at 6 a.m. By doing so, you can avoid the possibility of high heat during afternoons in BC-97C and BC-5N. Also, plan to cover your bulk distances in the mornings and evenings.
6. Keep an eye on your passengers, especially children.
Your passengers should follow the same rules as you. It is vital to keep children and their passengers safe from heat stress. Children are smaller than adults and can be more severely and quickly affected by extreme heat. Children’s core temperatures can rise up to five times faster than adults in similar situations. Heatstroke occurs when the body’s core temperature rises above 40.5 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). If you feel unwell on the drive, remember that heat stress could already be too late to prevent in small children. Make sure things do not get out of control. You must also provide a calm and safe environment for your pets.
Summer is here, and it’s time to start dreaming about road trips to explore more of our region. Proper insurance coverage is essential for smart planning when you plan to take your children on road trips. Be sure to review your motorcycle insurance coverage, as well as your insurance for RVs, cars, and buses, before you set out on the road.