Air-con mistakes lower reaction times

Patience may be a virtue for business drivers who want to remain focused at the wheel as rising temperatures could be impacting their reaction times.

According to SEAT, common air-con mistakes – including immediately turning the system on full-blast – could be reducing its effectiveness, resulting in higher interior temperatures and possible dehydration.

A difference of just 10°C inside the cabin can diminish reaction times by 20% – the equivalent to a blood alcohol reading of 0.05%; matching the Scottish limit and close to the maximum of 0.08% for the rest of the UK.

With outside temperatures recently soaring above 30°C in the UK, hurried commuters and company car drivers in particular could be at risk of dehydration, impacting reactions at the wheel.

Cars parked in the sun can reach a startling 60°C. To help reduce cabin temperatures before setting off and while on the move, SEAT has published the most common air conditioning mistakes that drivers make, these include: turning on the air conditioning full blast as soon as you get in the car, keeping the air recirculation option activated, not turning on the air conditioning in the morning, pointing the air jets toward you and not performing regular maintenance.

Around two-thirds of drivers aren’t aware of the risks of higher temperatures and dehydration, which can cause tiredness, dizziness, headaches and reduced reaction times.