Summer is here, temperatures are soaring and that brings with it a whole host of factors to consider before setting off on a car journey. Some of us may be spending more time in the car on long journeys for day trips or there might be a bit of extra traffic on the roads near where you live due to the summer season. There’s lots to think about to make sure you’re driving safely this summer. Read on to see our top tips on staying safe.
Tip 1: Is your outfit safe?
We’ve all experienced the intense heat when opening a car on a hot day. It might be tempting to ditch the sensible trainers and opt for a pair of flip flops or sandals instead. Although driving wearing flip flops is not illegal, your choice of footwear must not affect your ability to control your car. Rule 97 of The Highway Code states: ‘You should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’. Although it may be more comfortable to wear flip flops in the hot weather, it may not provide you with enough grip on the pedals. This could affect the safety of you and others. Therefore, if you feel you do not have full control of your car with the shoes you are wearing, you should swap them and avoid the risk.
Tip 2: Check your tyres
Along with the higher temperatures that summer brings, the risk of a tyre blowout also increases. It’s important to regularly check that your tyres are showing no signs of damage and that they are at the correct pressure for the load you are carrying. It’s especially important to do this before long journeys.
Tip 3: Keep your windscreen clean
Dazzle from the sun causes lots of accidents but you can reduce the effect by keeping your windscreen nice and clean. Make sure you check your washer fluid is filled up before a long journey to ensure you always have enough to clear the windscreen sufficiently.
Tip 4: Suffering with Hay fever
A lot of people suffer from hay fever during the period from April to September. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it can impact on the ability of someone to drive safely. If your hay fever is particularly bad, it’s best to get someone else to drive if you can, whilst also making sure that any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness.
Although it’s nice and warm outside, it’s a good idea to keep car windows closed as this will reduce the amount of pollen in the car. You should also try to keep tissues close to hand and wear sunglasses when possible. It’s also worth noting that if you sneeze at 70mph, you’ll lose vision for up to 100m, so make sure to pay attention to your distance from other cars if you feel a sneeze coming on!
Tip 5: Plan your route
When the weather is warmer it can put extra pressure on your car. It’s a good idea to plan your route ahead of your journey, especially if you are driving somewhere unfamiliar. . Try to avoid the busier roads at peak times, as heavy, stop start traffic is neither fun nor good for your clutch!