Vehicles | August 8, 2020 4:00 pm

New Advice For Drivers’ Health: Keep Your Car Windows Up

A new study offers tips against pollution

New research suggests driving with your windows up is your best option.
RegionalQueenslander/Creative Commons

There are plenty of reasons to drive with your windows down. Maybe the temperature outside is ideal for such a thing. Perhaps you like the way air feels as it flows through the car from outside. Or it could be that your air conditioning isn’t working and this is the best way to keep cool. Regardless of your reasons why, driving with the windows down can be a great feeling. And, like many things that feel great, it turns out there are some adverse health effects to it as well.

At Jalopnik, Erin Marquis has the details — which come from a recent study by researchers at the University of Surrey. The gist of the study, which was conducted in 10 cities across the world?

Irrespective of the city and car model used, a windows-open setting showed the highest exposure, followed by fan-on and recirculation. Pollution exposure for windows-open during off-peak hours was 91 percent and 40 percent less than morning and evening peak hours, respectively. The study also found that the windows-open setting exposed car passengers to hotspots of air pollution for up to a third of the total travel length.

Turning on a car’s recirculation option, the study found, cut down on the amount of pollution by 80%.

As Marquis writes, the choice of cities may feature a few known for their pollution, but the range of the study’s findings should alarm drivers all over the world. COVID-19 isn’t the only thing you can inhale these days that can cause health problems, after all — and this study makes a group of healthier options clear from the outset.

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