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Summer Driving Safety: Top Ten tips

Date: Wed 20th June 2018   |   Author: L Blake

There’s nothing quite like driving in summer, cruising with the windows down and the radio on. For many, it is one of life’s simple pleasures.

However, driving in summer can present just as many challenges as driving in winter. From awkward driving conditions to car maintenance considerations, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top ten summer driving tips to keep you calm and cool on the roads.

1 - Keep it cool

As the weather gets warmer, so do our cars. Not only is a hot car uncomfortable to sit in, it can also be dangerous.

One of the best summer driving tips is to keep your car cool in summer months to avoid any damage to yourself and the car. One obvious way to do this is to park in shaded areas whenever possible. You could also use a sunshade to counteract the heat. These are relatively inexpensive and can be found in most stores. The same goes for other areas of your car interior, such as the steering wheel or dashboard. Keeping them covered whilst not in use will keep them cool.

It’s never a good idea to keep your windows fully open but it could be a good idea to leave them slightly cracked when parking up in a secure area to allow for some of the heat to escape. Use your common sense with this one - valuables should be kept out of sight and windows should not be left open enough for anyone to reach in.

2 - Top up your car fluids

Just as the weather changes from season to season, so does car maintenance. Topping up your fluids on a regular basis may seem like a no-brainer, especially before a long trip, but it’s a summer driving tip that many forget to take care of.

Summer driving can lead to traffic. Car engines get extremely hot during summer and standstill traffic only makes the matter worse. To keep your engine cool and prevent overheating, you need to make sure that your coolant is topped up.

Warm weather often means dry weather. Keeping your screen wash topped up will prevent your windscreen from looking dirty and smeared. On a long drive you may notice dust and bugs start to impair your vision. It may seem obvious but a clear windscreen is essential for safe driving.

3 - Beware of the glare

Now that the windscreen is nice and clean and the sun is beaming down, you could be faced with another issue. Sun glare.

Glare from the sun can affect visibility while driving and could potentially lead to an accident if precautions are not taken. To minimise or prevent sun glare, you should drive carefully and keep your distance from other cars.

Using a window visor can help or you could wear sunglasses. It’s important to make sure that you can see the road and other vehicles clearly, before setting off.

4 - Check your tyres

It goes without saying that you should check your tyres regularly and you should always try to keep a usable spare. This is one of our essential summer driving tips.

According to the AA, tyres that are under inflated or already damaged, will become even more aggravated in higher temperatures. This could lead to the tyre puncturing or blowing out completely.

You should make sure that your tyres have the optimum pressure and tread for summer driving safety. A simple way to check your tyre tread is to use the 20p test.  

Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If not, then your tyres will be considered illegal and unsafe.

5 - Summer allergies

Summer months can wreak havoc for those with allergies and driving can become a nightmare. If you suffer from hayfever for example, you may experience drowsiness, itchy eyes and may frequently need to sneeze. These are traits which can not only be a nuisance but can also be dangerous when driving.

To ensure summer driving safety, be sure to read the instructions of any allergy-relief medication you may be taking and never drive if you feel tired or your visibility is affected.

6 - Take a break

If you are planning a road trip this summer and know that you will be driving for quite some time, you should make sure you take regular breaks. Driving whilst tired can reduce your ability to judge accurately, act fast and drive safely. It could cause an accident or worse, it could kill. If you can share the driving shifts with a friend, great. If not, take a break whenever you feel the need to.

7 - Stay hydrated

The summer heat can often leave us feeling dehydrated or drowsy, especially when stuck in traffic. A great summer driving tip is to keep this in mind when packing the car for your trip and make sure that there is enough water to go around.

8 - Don’t leave children or pets in a hot car

One of our more obvious summer driving tips - never leave a child or pet alone in the car, especially when the car is hot. Even if the windows are open or you are parked in a shaded area, leaving a child or a pet in a car is very dangerous. If the car is too hot for you, imagine how hot it would feel for them. Dogs die in hot cars, if you can’t take them out of the car with you, leave them at home.

9 - Be aware of other road users

This is not just one of our summer driving tips, but an essential tip for road safety at all times. Be aware of your surroundings.

When the heat rises and the sun is shining, walking or cycling from A to B may seem more appealing than sitting on a crowded bus or waiting in traffic. It’s great way to keep fit, enjoy being outside and make the most of the nice weather.

You should always drive with care but you may want to take extra care near cycle lanes, pedestrian crossings and on winding country lanes when the sun is low and visibility is impaired.

Be aware of your surroundings and those around you.

10 - Keep calm and drive on

Summer driving safety begins and ends with you. It’s always good practice to remain calm and level headed whilst driving. Although the rising heat may mean more traffic on the roads, it’s important to plan ahead for your journey and try to avoid getting stressed. Remember, road rage gets you nowhere. So keep calm and drive off into the sunset!

We hope you found this article on summer driving safety helpful. For more driving tips and other interesting articles, visit the Auto Protect engage page.