Temperatures have soared to record highs in the Middle East. In Basra, Iraq, the world’s hottest day was recorded on July 27 when the temperature hit 53.6 degree Celsius. In the UAE, too, this summer is terribly hot and driving is no fun in this heat. To try and stay cool this summer, Infiniti has collaborated with RoadSafetyUAE, to advise drivers on steps they can take to counter the heat. These simple steps can go a long way in avoiding heat related mishaps for both drivers and passengers.
Craig D’Silva, PR and Corporate Communications Manager INFINITI Middle East, said that the summer months in the Middle East from July to September present a unique set of challenges that drivers need to prepare for. According to him, INFINITI does not believe just in selling and servicing cars, but also in giving road users simple tips to ensure that they have a smooth journey. He added that the company’s partnership with RoadSafetyUAE will make it possible to deliver this message with greater effect to the public, not just in the UAE, but also in the wider Middle East region.”
Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director, RoadSafetyUAE said that he had started “RoadSafetyUAE with the intention of reducing road traffic related fatalities, injuries and accidents, both in the UAE and the Middle East. The organization’s partnership with Infiniti is in its second year and this new initiative is a simple but powerful campaign to increase the awareness of road users about issues they might possibly face during summer in the region.
High temperatures can seriously affect tires, especially if they are not properly maintained in the first place. Poor wheel balance and alignment, under and overinflation can all play a part in reducing tire safety and tire life. Here are a few tips to maximize tire life and safety:
1. Use only branded and certified tires. Substandard tires can prove to be unsafe.
2. Use the right type of tires in the specified dimensions for your vehicle. If you are not sure, refer to the vehicle owner’s manual or ask for expert advice.
3. Check the tire pressures at least on a monthly basis using a reliable or calibrated gauge. Refer to the vehicle manual or a sticker that is usually seen on the door frame or fuel cover to be sure. Never check the tires when they are “hot””, ie., when they have been driven more than 3 km.
4. Using Nitrogen of air for inflating tires can keep the tire pressure stable for longer periods.
5. Try never to exceed the load or speed capabilities of the tires on your vehicle.
6. Avoid driving over or near hazardous objects that could possibly damage your tires like glass, rocks and potholes.
There are greater chances for fires with higher temperatures. According to RoadSafetyUAE, research indicates that that 75 per cent of vehicle fires are caused by bad maintenance, mechanical or electrical failures or malfunctions. Collisions or overturns caused were responsible for only three per cent of these fires but caused 57 per cent of the fatalities due to fire. One-third of non-fatal vehicle fire injuries occurred when civilians attempted to fight the fire themselves. To avoid the possibility of vehicle fires:
1. Regularly inspect and maintain vehicles.
2. Watch for fluid leaks under vehicles, cracked or blistered hoses, or wiring that is loose, has exposed metal or has cracked insulation
3. Avoid throwing cigarette butts anywhere.
4. When driving – Be alert to changes in the way your vehicle sounds when running, or to a visible plume of exhaust coming from the tailpipe. A louder than usual exhaust tone, smoke coming from the tailpipe or a backfiring exhaust could mean problems or damage to the high-temperature exhaust and emission control system on the vehicle.
In view of the challenging climate conditions like sandstorms and extreme temperatures, regular maintenance goes a long way to keeping you safe on the roads. Such regular checks can help avoid breakdowns and accidents:
1. Make sure your vehicle is checked by experts at a reputed garage or service center to ensure it is in good running condition.
2. Use only original spare parts as they would be of excellent quality and meet the specifications needed to withstand the pressures of the internal engine environment. Using cheaper sub-standard parts can have a negative impact on both the vehicle and its passengers.
3. The brake system including the brake pads, braking fluids and brake discs needs stringent checks.
4. Clean the AC filters regularly and refill the gas in the air Conditioning compressor.
5. Keep an eye on all fluid levels including Radiator coolant fluid, battery coolant, transmission and engine oil to ensure that they are at their optimum levels.
It should be a regular practice to wear seatbelts all through the year, and not just during the summer as they are the first line of defense in the event of an accident. Seatbelts significantly reduce the chances and impact of serious injuries and can help save lives.
If worst comes to worst and you are in an emergency situation, it is important to remain calm. INFINITI owners across the region have the option of using a road side assistance service can be especially useful in an emergency. In addition to the above, some simple tips can be useful in a potentially hazardous situation:
1. Put your hazard lights on
2. Check the surroundings and carefully steer the vehicle to the right side of the road, gradually decelerating as abrupt breaking can also cause an accident
3. Put the car in park and engage the handbrake
4. Call the local emergency services/roadside assistance as the situation demands
5. It is always advised to get out of your car and maintain a safe distance while you wait for help to arrive.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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