Essential Summer Driving Tips

May 19, 2021

Essential Summer Driving Tips

Driving in hot weather, particularly heatwave conditions, can be a risk to the health and safety of drivers and passengers. So here’s our top tips to stay safe (and cool) on the roads this summer.

Keep your car cool
Park in the shade or use sunshades on hot days. Give yourself a few extra minutes to open doors and windows and allow some cooler air to circulate. This should help to avoid any immediate discomfort from the heat before setting off.

Keep fluids filled up
Car engines get extremely hot in warm weather, especially in standstill traffic, so ensure your coolant is always topped up. It’s a good idea to turn off your engine during traffic. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your engine will not burn more fuel than if you had you sat with your engine in ‘idle’ for more than 10 seconds.

Stay hydrated
Take plenty of cold water for you and your passengers before heading out on longer journeys. Investing in insulated drinks bottles is a great way to keep a source of cold water in the car, particularly after a long day of adventure.

Beware of hayfever
Around 10 million people suffer from hay fever in England alone – a condition which can be very problematic when driving.

The last place you want to be constantly sneezing is at the wheel of a car going at 70mph, but hay fever tablets are known to have side effects such as blurred vision and drowsiness, which could impair a person’s ability to drive.

Therefore, always check the label of your medication before taking them – especially if you’re planning on driving shortly afterwards.

Never leave your pets in the car
If it’s 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 47 degrees within one hour. This can lead to dangerous and heart-breaking consequences for any pets. So, unless you can take them with you wherever you go, leave your pets safely at home.

Avoid glare from the sun
‘The sun was in my eyes’ is a common excuse for accidents during the summer. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car and use your overhead sun visors to help block the sunlight from your eyes whilst driving.

Windscreens get very dirty in dry weather and marks can amplify sun glare. Keeping your windscreen washer fluid topped up (with some spare in the boot) as well as replacing worn windscreen wipers will help to keep a clear view in the sunshine.

Tyre maintenance
Tyre blowouts are a more common occurrence in hotter weather and tyres with existing damage that are under inflated are at even higher risk of this. Before setting off on a long journey it’s important to check your tyre pressure

Be aware of other road users
Drivers have to share the roads with a lot more than just other cars during the summer months. Better weather and longer days attract far more tractors, caravans, horse riders, cyclists and walkers.

It’s vital to remain alert when driving along country lanes in particular, and to avoid any risks when overtaking that could cause an accident.

Motorcyclists appear more often too, so always look twice to ensure you’re aware of what’s around you.