Summer is all about spending time with your family and friends, enjoying the sunshine and having a good time. However, there are some things that need to be considered when driving on the road.
1. Bigger chance of traffic
During the summer, everyone wants to be out and about. This means an increase of cars on the road. Make sure to leave plenty of time for your journey and have alternative routes in mind as a back-up. Drive carefully, consider other motorists and stay alert at all times.
2. Increase of cyclists
The warm and sunny weather is likely to get more people on their bikes. According to the ROSPA, in 2016, a total of 18,477 accidents involving a cyclist occurred. It’s important to give the cyclist plenty of room when overtaking and look over your shoulder to check you have safely past them.
3. Look out for pedestrians
Pedestrians can be difficult to spot, so be sure to take extra caution. People are often distracted but their mobile phones which can put them in danger if not careful. Watch out for any pedestrians at night, particularly in urban areas, and stay alert.
4. Overheating and dehydration
Your car is like a suntrap during the summer months. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. Do not leave your child or pet in the car on their own, not even while you pop into the shop. It can only take 30 minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach extremely dangerous levels. According to Mail Online, it’s estimated that 37 children die each year from being left in a hot car.
5 things to consider with your car in the heat
5. Young drivers and learner drivers
Due to the long summer holidays that students get, they’re more likely to be out on the road with their friends (or driving instructor). Keep in mind that young drivers may lack experience behind the wheel and may not feel as confident. As learner drivers are now allowed on the motorway, it’s important to give them plenty of space and understand that they are still learning.
6. Overloaded vehicles
A summer getaway with the family is in store for many motorists which means overloaded cars packed with holiday essentials. However, this can result in obstructed windows, causing danger to other road users. Overloading can also put a strain on your vehicle tyres, making it less stable.
7. Sleepy drivers
The long nights are ahead which means there may be more drivers on the road at night. Driving at night is considered to come with more dangers, especially if you’re sleep deprived. Be sure to keep yourself alert and take regular brakes if needed. Don’t dazzle other road users with your lights and make sure your windows are clean to avoid glare and condensation.
8. Glare and low sun
It may be summer, but in the UK we are guaranteed to have some rain. When the sun (especially low sun) glares off the wet road, it can be blinding. Although sun visors are helpful, sometimes the angle of the sun is too low for it to make a difference. Sunglasses are your best option, especially ones with polarised lenses. Most importantly, make sure to drive carefully, staying alert at all times.
Unfortunately, many of us suffer from hayfever and if you do, it’s probably best if you don’t drive. It’s suggested that the driving ability of a hayfever sufferer is the same degree as drink driving. The result of itchy and running eyes, runny nose and sneezing all can distract a driver. It can also lead to tiredness or drowsiness.
The heat of summer can have a huge impact on the way your vehicle runs and can cause you to breakdown. Parts of your vehicle can overheat including your engine and clutch. If your tyres are damaged or at the wrong pressure, higher temperatures can increase the risk of a blowout. We recommend booking your car in for a service to reduce the chance of these things happening.
Libby has been working for BookMyGarage since August 2017; writing articles, creating newsletters and handling the social media platforms. She works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts to provide weekly blogs: essential advice on how to care for your car, need-to-know news and developments in the motoring world and helpful tips on how to cut the costs of running and maintaining your car.