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Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeDrive SafeCatching 40 Winks In Your Car

Catching 40 Winks In Your Car

3 min read
Some drivers may feel the urge to take a nap in their cars. But even though they may have driven to a safe spot to get some shuteye, is it really safe to nap in the car, and is it even legal to do so?

Sometimes, the Z monster just cannot be ignored, and we need to submit and take a nap. In the case of drivers, the car may be the only option to get that needed rest.

In Singapore, it is not an offence to sleep in your car as long as you are parked legally and don’t have the engine running. Keeping the engine idling while your car is parked is a violation of the National Environment Agency’s regulations. But is it safe to sleep in your car even with the engine switched off? A short nap sounds perfectly benign; however, there is a possibility that the nap could also be the last thing you do!

In our hot and humid country, it is common for drivers to keep their air-conditioning switched on while they are waiting in their cars — even for just a few moments. If you frequently take naps in your car with the windows rolled up and the air-conditioning running, you not only run the risk of inhaling re-circulated air, but also potentially expose yourself to exhaust fumes that may have leaked into the cabin, which can build up dangerously fast in enclosed spaces. It is crucial to ensure proper ventilation to avoid inhaling harmful fumes and reduce the risk of exposure to them.

The main component of the exhaust fumes is carbon monoxide, or CO. It’s a colourless, odourless gas that, when accumulated enough inside your car, could be fatal. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headaches, dizziness, an upset stomach, chest pains, and vomiting. When you are sleeping, you run the risk of dying even before experiencing these symptoms. The risks are higher for infants and the elderly.

Older cars pose a higher risk of fume leakage, as their parts start to deteriorate due to wear and tear. It is important to have your car’s air-conditioning system not only maintained, but also checked regularly to make sure they are functioning properly and not suffering from any leakage. That said, the air inside a closed area of the cabin can lead to the production of more CO and less oxygen, so there is still cause for concern.

Having the engine running while you are sleeping can also lead to you inhaling other pollutants into your body, especially if your car has not been cleaned in a while. The air contained within the cabin will contain fumes emitted from whatever junk that was not cleaned out, and these fumes can make you ill.

If you need to take a power nap, park in an open ventilated area, lock the car doors, switch off the engine and wind down the windows enough to let in fresh air and not prying hands. Set your alarm so that you don’t oversleep, just enough to freshen you up so you can continue the rest of your journey safely.