Summer plans have arrived and everyone will be excited to experience the hot weather. Whether you’re depending on your car for driving to the airport, taking a road trip, or taking a short day trip, driving in hot conditions will certainly be challenging for both drivers and passengers. Anyone who lives in the UK knows that anything weather-related that doesn’t have to do with wind or rain is rare. However, heat waves are very common during the summer months in the UK, which will make driving a more stressful situation. Therefore, we have gathered the most significant summer driving rules to safely enjoy your next adventure.
Plan Ahead your Trip Route
Popular seaside destinations around the UK are usually one of the busiest routes, not to mention other highly visited cities, such as London. While getting stuck in traffic in hot weather can be a nerve-wracking situation for anyone now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted and increased traffic is possible, it may be a good idea to check the route before starting your trip. This will, as a result prevent any unexpected stress resulting from staying in the hot weather for a long time.
Check your Tyres Condition
Tyre blowouts are more susceptible when it comes to extremely hot weather. Researches by AA ensure tyres should be one of the most important concerns for a safe summer driving. Don’t forget to make sure the tread depths of the 4 tyres are ready for you to go! We recommend you ensure it is on a 3mm for safety. While most of us will not have the space for a spare tyre in the trunk, don’t forget to top the 4 tyres with air and check their pressure, which you can do at most petrol stations.
Check your Car Batteries
Car batteries in winter should always be on top of your mind, yes. But, don’t forget how high temperatures can be your car battery’s worst enemy. From causing water to evaporate out of the battery to increased corrosion, heat can damage your battery in different ways. There is nothing worse than a summer breakdown. A battery drain can be the main cause for a summer breakdown, which could be the worst experience after many preparations of the trip. Therefore, we recommend checking your battery’s condition as an important summer driving rule.
Don’t Overload your Car
When it comes to summer trips, it is very common for almost everyone to over pack. How often do you pack your luggage and end up using only half of the clothes you get? Smart packing is an important rule in summer driving since overloading your car can be very risky in terms of:
- Cars handling ability
- Weaker stopping distance
- Difficulty to see your back window
- Higher fuel costs
- Tyre overheating
Therefore, remember to be as light as possible when hitting the road during the summer months. You certainly want to have the perfect clothes for the trip, but remember safety comes first. It may be even worth hiring a larger car if it is a long trip and you will be over packing your luggage. In fact, you can even get fined for overloading your car than the manufacturer’s recommendation limit.
Avoid Sun Glare
Wearing sunglasses and using your car’s sun visor will assist you to avoid being blinded by the sun while driving. It is even worth slowing down or pulling over if your eyes are highly sensitive and sunglasses aren’t helping. Driving in high sun glare is just as dangerous as driving in stormy weather.
Additionally, in dry weather, windscreens become quite dusty, and marks can intensify sun glare. Windscreen washer fluid in ample supply will aid in maintaining a clear view in the sun, particularly when travelling when the sun is low in the sky, as is the case throughout your commute.
Never Drink and Drive
Summer this year will be back with the annual large festivals, BBQ gatherings, and outdoor pub meetings. Well, driving rules are not just for road trips or long day trips. It can be for a short day trip from a nearby pub, in which if you are planning to drink, ensure that you will have another transport method for going back home. You don’t want to not only break your summer plans but also avoid a fatal accident that can cause damage to you in the long run.
For more information on the risks of drinking and driving see our blog here!
Look Out for Other Road Users
Summer usually makes roads busier and cities more hectic. It is mainly because longer days attract more cars, cyclists, and walkers everywhere. You could even see more motorcycles on the road than usual. Therefore, it is very important to always be attentive to everyone around you and look for your blind spots.
You could probably see more agricultural vehicles (tractors) on high-speed roads, which is because crops ripen during summer. It is important that you notice them carefully, especially if you will be overtaking one of them while driving.
Don’t Leave your Pet in a Hot Car
PFMA Research estimates there are 17 million (59%) of the UK households have pets in 2021. Now, you may think it could be okay to leave your pet in the car because you are not going away for so long. But, according to the RSPCA, in 22° Celsius weather, the inside of a car can reach 47° Celsius in an hour.
Most importantly, because dogs do not sweat as much as humans, this will not only be uncomfortable for your pet, but also be fatal. Take your dog with you or leave it at home if you’re going on a short trip.
Pay Attention to your Summer Allergies
Around 13 million people in the UK are affected by one of the most common summer allergies, known as Hay Fever. Symptoms of hay fever can be sneezing and coughing, to say the least, which can irritate you while driving. So it is best to keep yourself safe and make sure you are eligible to hit the road because most medications will ban you from driving.
There are other allergies that are common in the summer season, which cause problems to you or the passengers while driving. Make sure you follow the NHS updates on all seasonal allergies that can put you in any risk here.
As we all know, water is crucial during summer. Now you may think it’s not easy to be dehydrated while driving as while you are playing sports, but this is not true. With the normal loss of water inside our bodies while breathing, it can be very easy to become dehydrated in the car without recognizing. When driving a particularly long trip it is best to make sure you stay hydrated.
While it looks like it could be a post-pandemic life soon, you should still maintain your distance during summer in crowded indoor areas. If you are driving to an indoor summer event, make sure you follow the latest government guidelines here.