Photo of James Roe Race car

Photo headshot of race car driver James RoeCars, school buses and trucks can trigger asthma. Potential allergens and irritants lurk inside and outside motor vehicles. What can you do to breathe easy when you’re on the go?

We spoke with Indy Race Car Driver James Roe, Jr. He has lived with asthma since childhood growing up in Ireland. He currently represents Turn 3 Motorsport in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship series running alongside the NTT Indy Car series.

James serves as Brand Ambassador for Allergy & Asthma Network. Here are his 4 tips to stay safe when in and around motor vehicles.

Photo of Combustion fumes coming out of car exhaust pipe

Steer clear of idling vehicles

Avoid tailpipe exhaust from cars, trucks and buses when possible. Vehicle exhaust contains tiny particulate matter such as soot. When inhaled, these particles can worsen asthma.

Photo of car window controls

Roll up the windows

Check for ozone and air quality alerts at On days with high ozone and poor air quality, keep car windows rolled up. Turn on the air conditioner to recirculate clean air.

Photo of vacuuming Seat Of Car During

Keep your car clean

Vacuum inside your car regularly to remove pollen, dust and dirt brought in on your clothes and shoes. Don’t allow smoking – a common asthma trigger – in your car.

Photo of Woman hand hold car key ready to start engine

Turn off your car engine when idle

When you park your car, or if you’re not driving your car for a minute or longer, be sure to turn off the engine. This can help reduce harmful ozone and particulate matter pollution.

Reviewed by Eileen Censullo, RRT