Safety Advice for Driving This Summer
With each new season comes a new set of challenges to manoeuvre when driving. This is true for specific winter car maintenance and driving in the snow, and also driving in the rain, but it’s also true for summer because there are plenty of hazards to look out for and things to consider.
Here at Longbridge Tyres, we specialise in providing tyres for all kinds of vehicles – whatever the weather. We’ve used this experience to talk you through some summer driving advice in our latest blog post below.
To begin with, maintenance is as important as ever in the summer. You always want to keep your car on the road as much as you can, so here’s what will help when the weather gets warmer:
- Check your tyres. The high temperatures, matched with low tyre pressure, can compromise weak spots and lead to more punctures.
- Overheating, naturally, is a common issue for cars in the summer. To help try and prevent this, keep your coolant topped up and look for white/wet marks on the coolant hoses. You can also listen for a particularly noisy fan while idling (just make sure this isn’t because your air conditioning is turned up).
- Fuel efficiency can be an issue in the summer because of increased air conditioning usage and potential road trips. Use a roof box and close the windows when possible for aerodynamics, and match your tyre pressure to the recommended reading for the number of passengers in the vehicle to help get around this.
- Your windscreen is essential and can become hazardous in the summer if you don’t take care of it with washer fluid and even cleaning spray. Bugs, heat, and old windscreen wipers can cause this, so keep an eye out for smudging and keep your windscreen clean.
As unassuming as it might seem, hayfever can actually be extremely dangerous for road users. It’s estimated that 2 million drivers have either had an accident, near miss or lost control of their vehicle due to hayfever. The number of accident/near accidents caused by hayfever makes sense when you consider that, when travelling at 70mph, you can travel up to 100min the time it takes to sneeze. With that in mind, be sure to slow down and increase your distance to the vehicle in front if you feel you’re about to sneeze.
To help reduce the dangers hayfever has on driving, there are measures you can take. Stay prepared with sunglasses, by closing the vents in your car, getting your pollen filters changed, keeping tissues on hand, and regularly cleaning your car – especially the floor mats. You should also be careful of the effects of hayfever medication, which can cause drowsiness and blurred vision.
With millions of people going on their summer holidays, and many of these requiring long road trips, safety on long journeys in the summer is an important consideration. For example, the longer days can be deceiving and make it seem like you’ve been driving for less time than you have.
Firstly, you need to make adequate vehicle checks before setting off on a road trip.
You should then also make some preparations to ensure tiredness does not cloud your judgement when driving. Take breaks on journeys that are over three hours – for at least 20 minutes every third hour – and take breaks on long journeys shorter but more frequent.
Avoiding big meals, drinking, and hangovers – all three of which are very common summer holiday activities – when driving a long journey are also essential for beating tiredness and staying safe on the roads this summer.
There are also some other things to beware of in order to stay safe while driving in the summer. These include, but are not limited to:
- Loose chippings from road repairs
- Throwing cigarettes into verges/grassy areas, because this can cause fires
- Tractors, which are not required to use brake lights or signals unless it’s dark
- Rain – after the sun comes the rain and all parts of this are dangerous, whether that is as the rain starts to fall, while it is heavy, or after it has finished