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What Your Car Says About  You

Driving a Convertible: Top-Down Sun Smarts

Summer isn't complete until you've cruised the main drag with the top down. For those lucky souls that have a sexy set of wheels parked in the garage, Mazda offers tips on sunny summer safety. After all, who would know better than maker of the world's best-selling convertible — the MX-5 Miata.

"If anybody has the authority to speak on behalf of top-down, wind-in-your-hair, sun-on-your-face driving fun, it’s Mazda," said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. "Before you hit the road, remember these time-honored road-tips.”

  1. As part of a healthy daily routine, apply sunscreen rated at least SPF 15. Just 15 minutes per day exposed to the sun equates to 90 hours per year of incidental sun exposure.

  2. To prevent “air hair” or wind damage to your hair while driving or riding in a convertible, always put your hair in a ponytail, wrap your hair in a bun or wear a hat. Be a considerate host and keep extra hair products — hairpins, butterfly clamps, ponys or hats — in your vehicle at all time.

  3. Wear sunglasses. They help protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and keep airborne debris from getting in your eyes.

  4. Avoid leaving loose articles such as paper or clothing inside the car when driving with the top down or windows lowered. Trash knows no boundaries... it’s found on our beaches and in our parks and lakes. The effects of trash on the ecosystem are devastating.

  5. Park away from trees if you plan to leave the top down. Birds also like nice shady trees…

  6. Pull over and come to a complete stop before you open or close a convertible top. Not only is this a dangerous distraction, but wind-force may damage the mechanism that controls the top.

  7. To help protect against wind burn to your face and lips, d rink plenty of water to help hydrate your skin, use a moisturizer every day and apply lip balm regularly.

  8. And, of course, ALWAYS buckle up for safety, no matter how long or short the trip.

Starting at $20,435, the MX-5 Miata offers up to 30 mpg on the highway and an open-top motoring experience with minimal wind turbulence in the cabin. An aero-board wind deflector — now common on convertibles but invented by Mazda on the 1987 RX-7 Convertible — is located between the seat backs and directs forward-flowing air upward instead of into the cockpit for a more comfortable ride.

For more information on Mazda and their lineup, check out RTM's 2007 Mazda Model Guide or read our First Impression on the 2006 MX-5 Miata.

(Source: Mazda)