Plenty of New Jersey residents get sick of having to drive in hot cars during July and August. Not only is it annoying and incredibly uncomfortable, but it is also dangerous. It can serve as a distraction during the months with some of the highest motor vehicle accident rates of the year.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten easier to deal with in recent years. Here in the Northeast we had record breaking temperatures in July. Since there are still plenty of warm days before fall arrives, it’s important to learn how you can have a cooler and safer ride to work and back.

Park in the shade

One way you can keep your car from feeling like an oven is finding a parking spot under a roof or near a large building or tree. If you do this, you can return to your car without feeling the need to put your air conditioner on the highest level. For those that have to park outside, be aware that some shady spots won’t remain shady the whole day. Observe which spots have shade at the end of your work shift rather than at the beginning.

Use a sunshade

If the parking lot at your job doesn’t provide you with any options to go into the shade, you’re still not out of options. Many drivers rely on car sunshades to keep their interiors cool for a long day at work. Just be careful with how you park your car under the sun. If the back of your vehicle is facing the sun more than the front, than the sunshade will not be as effective as it could be.

Make smart use of your windows and air conditioner

While some wait a few minutes before driving to let the cool air kick in, that can make you waste precious gas and battery life. Once you turn on your car, the first thing you should do before turning on the air conditioner is to roll the windows down so you can push out all the hot air. Doing this means your car can get the cooler air flowing through quicker. Drive slowly and carefully for the first few minutes in case it’s too hot to fully grip the steering wheel.

Unfortunately, not every driver in New Jersey follows these tips. They might be in a rush to get to their destination on the hotter days of the summer, which has a high chance of resulting in a car crash. In the event this happens to you, contact a motor vehicle accident attorney to explore your recovery options.