Let me just say at the start that I don't like this, but according to a new study published by the University of Surrey, England, drivers who cruise with their windows down expose themselves to 80% more air pollution.

After making sure the radio is on the first thing I do when I get in my car is power down the driver's side window. There are few things in this world better than cruising down the street in a shiny car with the tunes up and the windows down.

That, according to this study, is not the most healthy way to drive. To be fair, the study was conducted in much larger metropolitan areas than Wichita Falls, but some of the principles still apply.

The idea is that with the windows closed and the air conditioner on, the A/C filter will capture most of the pollutants. (Oh, yeah, before I forget, those A/C cabin filters need to be checked and replaced every now and then. When's the last time you checked yours?) By letting that filter clear most of the contaminants from the air you're less exposed to atmospheric pollutants. Switching your A/C to Recirculate works even better because it effectively isolates your vehicle's interior from the outside (read that polluted) world and continues to filter it as long as your air conditioner fan is running.

The worst time to drive with your windows down is morning or afternoon rush hours. That makes sense, vehicles are idling at a stop light or moving slower than usual along the road, the exhaust gasses accumulate around the running vehicles, and when you open your window it comes directly into your car's interior.

So, those folks who live in big cities may want to keep their windows up and hide from the world. Fortunately, I live in little old Wichita Falls and my daily commute will continue to go on with my window down and my radio up because life is a highway and I want to cruise it.

With my windows down.

That's how I roll.

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