Choose right clothes to be comfortable and safe driving

Many of us simply jump in the car without considering comfort or safety.

Many of us simply jump in the car without considering comfort or safety. - Credit: Pa

Being comfortable is the prime focus for driving, particularly in this hot, humid weather. Choosing the right type of clothes for all-day comfort when driving will come down to personal preference to some extent, but there are also some simple rules to bear in mind.

In warm weather, choose clothes that are light and let plenty of air around your body to help keep you cool.

Cotton material is generally best as it let heat dissipate without sticking to you even when you have a seat belt on.

For men wearing shirts and ties, try loosening your tie a little or only putting it on when you get to the office or meeting. By leaving your tie off and the top button of your shirt undone, you're letting your head move more easily.

Shorts are fine if it's warm, but try to wear ones that cover your thighs so your legs are not in contact with the seat material, which can cause itching and irritation on longer drives. However, don't be tempted to drive with no top on if you're a man or a minimal vest-type top because you risk serious friction burns from the seat belt in the event of a collision.


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In colder weather, rather than jumping in the car with a heavy winter coat on, think about several layers to keep you toasty. Bulky jackets and jumpers restrict movement, which means you might not be able to see everything you need to from the driver's seat. By using several thinner layers, you can tailor how much you need to wear with freedom of movement.

The other key item of clothing to think about when driving is your shoes. Regardless of what type of car you drive, manual or automatic, it is vital you can operate the pedals safely and easily.

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Large work or winter boots might be fine for bad weather, but don't offer much feel on the pedals and there is also the danger you can press the brake and throttle pedals at the same time. Try to keep a thinner-soled, less bulky pair of shoes in the footwell to slip into. It's the same story for Wellington boots for those who like walking the dog in the fields or heading to the refuse tip.

Women often jump into the car wearing high heels and then slip them off to make driving easier. While this makes some sense as high heels can seriously impair the driver's ability to press the brake pedal sufficiently in an emergency situation, driving barefoot can be just as dangerous. There is a real risk your feet could slip off the pedals just when you need them firmly planted on the brake and clutch, so again keep a pair of flat-soled shoes in the car for driving.

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