Summer is here, temepratures are soaring and that brings with it a whole host of factors to consider before setting off on a journey in the car. 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 the budget blog for 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 and this might make us want to ditch the sensible trainers and opt for a pair of flip flops or sandals and some people may even think about driving barefoot! 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 and 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, it would be wise to 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 tyre’s are showing no signs of damage and that they are at the correct pressure for the load you are carrying before you set of on any journey but in particular a long one.
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, so that you can see clearly at all times. 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 Hayfever
A lot of people suffer from hayfever during the period from April to September and depending on the severity of the symptoms, it can impact on the ability of someone to drive safely. If your hayfever 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. Keeping car windows closed to reduce the amount of pollen in the car, keeping tissues close to hand whilst driving and wearing sunglasses when out and about can also help. 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 to try to limit the amount of time spent on the road. Plan to avoid the busier roads at peak times if possible, as this can lead to things such as clutch problems if you end up in a long tail back of stop start traffic.