With summer in full swing, there are a lot of delights getting people into their cars and out on the roads to enjoy the sun. But, just like winter, the summer months bring a number of new hazards that mean you may need to take extra care behind the wheel.
From hot weather to busy roads, there is plenty to keep in mind whether you’re driving for a day out with the family or a road trip with friends. Read our 10 tips for driving in the summer to learn some useful advice to keep you safe on the roads this summer.
Cool Your Car
If your car has been sitting in the sun for a while, it’s going to feel incredibly uncomfortable to drive in. You may find that driving in such heat will get you worked up and flustered, which will affect your safety on the roads.
To avoid this, run your car’s air-con prior to you getting in the car, or open the doors and windows. Just remember not to leave your car unattended in this state. Also, if you’re parking your car on a sunny day, try to park in the shade if you can. This will prevent your car from overheating too much from sitting in the sun.
Keep Fluids Topped Up
In warm temperatures and summer sunshine, car engines can get extremely hot, and an overheated engine in the middle of a road trip is a disaster. So, make sure this doesn’t happen to you and keep your engine coolant topped up.
While you’re topping up your engine coolant, you should also make sure your windscreen washer fluid is full, so that you can keep your windscreen clean. During the summer, you’re more likely to be driving down country roads where your windows will get dirty. Making sure your fluids are all topped up will stop you from driving with dirty windscreens and no way to clean them.
Sitting in a long traffic jam in intense heat with nothing to drink is not great for your driving or your wellbeing. After all, the more comfortable you are, the safer you’ll be able to drive because there will be less to distract you. Before setting off on a long journey, keep plenty of cold water in the car for you and for the rest of your passengers and make sure you all stay hydrated.
Consider Hay fever
The summer season also means hay fever season and according to the NHS, hay fever affects up to one in five people at some point in their life. It can be incredibly difficult to drive when your eyes are streaming, and your nose is running. So, bear this in mind before getting behind the wheel.
Plus, it is important to be aware that some hay fever medication has side effects such as drowsiness and blurred vision, and it is recommended that you don’t drive in this instance.
Never Leave Pets
If you’re taking a furry companion with you in your car, it is never okay to leave them alone in the car when you leave it. The hot temperatures can be fatal and even leaving a pet in the car with a cracked window can have disastrous consequences.
So, if you see a dog in a hot car, the RSPA has some helpful advice on what to do.
A common cause of accidents during the summer is sun glare. Sun glare can lead to impaired vision, increasing your risk of not spotting a hazard and having an accident. To combat this, you should ensure you keep your windscreen clean, wear sunglasses if necessary, and use your overhead sun visors to block the glare.
Another common cause of accidents during the summer (and all year round) is tiredness. Tiredness can be enhanced by the heat and the long journeys you might be making. Tiredness behind the wheel can make you significantly less alert, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
To avoid tiredness, make sure you take frequent breaks during your journey and swap drivers along the way if possible.
Tyre blowouts are much more common in the hot weather. So, tyres which have existing damage or are underinflated can become even worse in warm temperatures, increasing the possibility of a blowout or puncture.
Keeping your tyre pressure at the right level will help you avoid this. Plus, having a premium set of tyres fitted such as those from Goodyear. Should you find that you need a new set of tyres that are suitable for long-distance driving in the summer, you can’t go wrong with the Goodyear Eagle NCT5. It’s a summer tyre made with improved braking and wet handling performance; due to the hard compound it’s manufactured with. Alternatively, if you drive an SUV, check out the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 SUV, a high-quality summer tyre suitable for heavier loads.
It’s not just other cars that you’ll have to look out for on the roads because the summer also attracts lots more than that. There will be tractors, caravans, horse riders, cyclists, walkers and kids that are out of school for the summer. All of these extra factors are likely to mean you’ll need to stay more alert while on the roads.
Our tips for helping with this are to remain calm, particularly on busy motorways and country roads. You should also avoid any risky overtaking and check for motorbikes regularly.
Look at a Calendar
With so many events taking place during the summer, it may be useful to look at a calendar and avoid driving on days when the roads are likely to be particularly busy. It is also useful to check whether there are any planned road closures that will affect your journey. For more motoring advice, visit the rest of our blog.