The summer months bring high temperatures as well as extra demand on your car. These can cause risks to the health and safety of drivers, passengers, and passers-by. Here’s our advice to help you stay safe (and cool) on the roads.
Keeping it cool
Parking in the shade or using a sunshade on warm days are a great way to prevent your vehicle from getting too warm whilst you’re not in it. If this isn’t possible opening the doors and windows or running the air con for a few minutes before setting off is a great way to circulate the air.
Some cars even have the latest technology to pre-set your
car’s temperature, meaning it is in the ideal condition for you before you step
foot in the vehicle.
Make sure fluids are topped up
The warm weather puts extra pressure on our vehicle engine, especially if you are in traffic, so you must have enough coolant to prevent overheating. Make sure you frequently check that your vehicle’s coolant is topped up, every couple of weeks should be enough.
To check your coolant simply find the coolant reservoir, which will have a symbol that looks like a temperature gauge floating on waves, and ensure the liquid level is between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ markers on the side.
If your vehicle doesn’t have stop-start technology, it is a good idea to turn off your engine when you are stuck in traffic during hot weather.
It’s important to make sure your vehicle is topped up with fluid but it’s also important you are hydrated too.
We recommend taking cold water with you in your car when the weather is hot, you never know when you’re going to get stuck in a long traffic jam under the hot sun.
Allergies have a tendency to flare up during the summer months, increasing the likelihood of sneezing behind the wheel, which is the last place you want to sneeze. If you’re travelling at 60mph you can lose up to 15 meters of the road with your eyes closed so it’s worth slowing down and hanging back if you’re on the motorway.
Our top tips for driving with hayfever:
Need a drink, don’t drive
The sunshine tends to get everyone in the mood for a cold crisp pint in the beer garden along with barbeques and festivals. Because of this, drunk driving becomes a major problem each year.
If you are heading out to a summer social event and want to
enjoy an alcoholic beverage arrange a way of getting home and don’t get behind
the wheel. Have a fantastic time without putting yourself and other people’s
lives at risk.
Don’t forget to rest
Warm weather can make you feel more tired and lethargic. Feeling tired whilst driving can increase the chances of a road accident, making regular stops on any long journeys is the perfect opportunity to rest and refresh.
The best way to avoid getting tired on the road is to factor in a 20-minute break every two to three hours. By taking lots of shorter breaks instead of one long one you’ll stay more alert during your trip.
If you want to make fewer stops you could always consider sharing the driving between you and your passengers, avoiding tiredness, and cutting down the number of breaks in your journey.
Keeping animals in the car
Summer is the perfect time of year for taking your much-loved pets out for plenty of adventures. Just be mindful if you do take your animals anywhere in the car not to leave them when you get out. Temperatures can rise very quickly over the summer, even if you’ve parked in the shade or left your windows down, so it’s not worth the risk.
Glare from the Sun
The sun can cause vision issues whilst driving, usually more common during summer months, although it can cause accidents all year round.
Don’t forget to make use of your sun visors or pop on your sunglasses to help block the sun from your eyes.
Windscreens can get dirty during dry weather, we all hate when our windscreen wipers just seem to be smudging the dirt around, and these marks can enhance sun glare. Making sure your washer fluid is topped up and your windscreen wipers aren’t worn means you’ll be able to clear away the streaky dirt whenever you need to.
Check your tyres
If your tyres are damaged or underinflated, hot temperatures can cause the existing issue to get worse and increase the chance of a tyre blowout or puncture. Not sure what to look for? Check out our guide to checking your tyre condition .
Sunshine and lovely weather tend to attract more people to the road, including horse riders, cyclists, walkers as well as seeing more tractors and caravans on the road. Be cautious when overtaking especially when driving down country lanes to avoid any accidents. As of 29th January 2022, there have been changes to the Highway Code. It is now the responsibility of a car driver to be aware of cyclists, pedestrians, or horse riders and give more space when overtaking these more vulnerable road users.
Don’t forget the Rain
In the UK for every bit of nice weather we get, rain always follows. Adapting your driving style in the event of any sudden changes in weather, such as heavy rain or storms doesn’t always come naturally.
Bear in mind that wet and slippery roads can cause an increase in your vehicle’s stopping distance, therefore, you should always leave more room between yourself and other road users when driving in wet weather. Heavy rain also causes poor visibility, making it more difficult to see hazards ahead so it’s vital to remain cautious and even lower your speed.