Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Image via Flickr by Alden Jewell

Convertible cars are the ultimate status symbol, the epitome of looking cool on the open road. You could drive a convertible Mustang or a Chrysler Sebring, and if the top goes down, it doesn’t matter; to your fellow drivers, you’re the coolest road warrior on the highway. If you’ve always dreamed of tooling down the road with the music blaring and the wind whipping your hair, fulfill that dream—just make sure that you’re aware of everything owning and driving a convertible entails.

Put the Top Up

You know how easy it is to forget to roll up the windows or close the sunroof in your current car? You’ll inevitably forget on a day when it’s raining, and you wake up to sodden seats and a wet floor. Make that mistake with a convertible and you’ll need more than a big beach towel to dry up that mess.

Before you get used to driving your convertible, putting the top up isn’t second nature. You have to condition yourself, just like you did when learning to fasten your seat belt and adjust your mirrors.

Make Maintenance a Priority

Although there are ways to get away with keeping the top down a majority of the time, it comes down to more than just smart choices. Don’t forget to take care of your top either. In very inclement weather, park the car in a garage if possible. Keep an eye and ear out for any catches or grinding noises when the top goes up or down, as well, and stay mindful of any rips or tears in a soft top.

Protect Yourself on the Road

In a convertible, you have to worry about more than driving slow, keeping an eye on the other drivers, and using your seat belt. With the top down, many safety measures involve you, specifically. Without the roof, you’re no longer automatically protected from the sun, the wind, or bits of potentially hazardous road dirt. When you’re driving with the top down or simply riding shotgun, make sure to:

  • Slather yourself with sunscreen before you go out, especially in peak daylight hours
  • Wear shades, not just to keep up the cool image but also to protect your eyes from flying debris and dangerous trajectories
  • Drive slower, to avoid any damage to your ears because of road noise and turbulence
  • And think about wearing a hat, if there’s any way to make sure it won’t go flying off your head

Check the Weather Report

Your convertible isn’t just at risk when it’s parked in bad weather. You have to pay attention to Mother Nature while you’re driving as well. Can you imagine cruising down the road, only to run into a sudden, soaking rain storm? Don’t get caught unaware, not when you can simply pull out your smart phone and look at the day’s weather report. If there’s a chance of rain, snow, or hail, just keep the top up; the risk isn’t worth it.

What do you think of when you imagine riding around in a convertible? Remember, if you’re safe, you really will rule the open road.