Reflex's top tips for summer driving
Make extra regular checks on your vehicle and yourself to be prepared
Naturally, drivers take extra precautions when driving in wet or icy conditions, with many forgetting the summer months can bring along its own hazards, meaning extra care needs to be taken to limit risks from the warmer weather affecting the overall driving experience.
We have put together some tips which can enhance driver safety as well as protecting passengers, pedestrians, and other road users.
It is important to check your tyres condition and pressures regularly before every journey, but heightened summer heat can increase the risk of a blowout, particularly if they are set at the incorrect pressure levels. Also make sure you are checking any trailers or caravans that you may be towing.
You should regularly inspect for any bulges or nicks in your tyre walls and get them changed immediately to avoid any risks.
Sunrise and sunsets can cause glare on the windscreen of your vehicle. Dazzle from the sun makes it difficult to see and if you are not careful, your vision can be completely blocked when driving towards the sun. Make sure to keep your windscreen clear and try to keep a pair of sunglasses handy so you can lessen the brightness on your eyes.
Checking your vehicles fluids is extremely important when the weather starts to get drier. Oil, screen wash and brake fluid should be checked regularly to avoid running out. Screen wash can be useful when it gets warm to wipe of flies or smears that appear on the wind screen.
Car engines will become especially warm this time of year, so ensure your coolant levels are sufficient.
During the hotter, summer months, the number one cause of breakdowns is usually your car battery. Perhaps you are driving you and your family down to the coast for a lovely summer holiday in the warm weather, but this can put extra strain on your battery.
Sitting in traffic where you need to stop-start, with entertainment devices plugged into the car will place much more demand on the battery and subsequently drain it. It is useful to keep an eye on your battery and look out for the warning signs such as your lights being dimmer or the car taking longer to start. You should replace your car battery approximately every 3 years, as after this, things start to go wrong.
Many people with summer allergies will know what to expect when the hot weather comes around bringing warm air that sets their symptoms off. Having itchy eyes or sneezing frequently can be off putting whilst driving. You should make sure that any medication you are taking to ease symptoms does not cause you drowsiness.
Keeping car windows closed can help to reduce pollen entering the vehicle which can worsen symptoms. Also cleaning the inside of the vehicle regularly to get rid of any dust building up.
It is always important to stay hydrated but more so when planning on driving and definitely when driving during the summer. You may have read in our Staying healthy whilst driving for work blog that being dehydrated can often lead to similar concentration levels of that of an intoxicated driver. Therefore, it is so important to check your own fluids as well as your vehicles to ensure that your concentration levels are high, and you do not get tired.
Inevitably, the weather can change in an instant, even if it is hot and the sun is shining. When hot and cold air mix; thunderstorms are on the cards which can mean torrential rain, battering winds and thunder and lightning. All these combined can result in restricted vision which can make driving a lot more difficult, especially if you are on country roads or motorways.
Always be prepared to expect all types of weather and make sure you have the correct equipment in your car to keep you safe. Carry things such as a first aid kit, a high vis, additional oil or screen wash for top ups, a blanket, a torch, drinks such as water and other useful items that may help you in an uncalled for situation such as a breakdown or collision.