The holiday season can mean high temperatures, increased stress levels and extra demands on your vehicle – so here are some seasonal tips to help with the challenges of summer driving.
If your tyres are already damaged or at the wrong pressure, the higher temperatures of summer will increase the risk of a blowout.
Make sure you check tyres regularly – for condition and pressures – and increase pressures to suit extra loads, as advised in your handbook.
Cooling systems are under more strain in high temperatures, so issues are more likely to be exposed when it’s hot. It’s important to check the coolant regularly to avoid overheating.
It’s not just the vehicle which can overheat, keep cool in the vehicle this summer the following ways:
Have iced water in the car – this will help keep you refreshed and hydrated throughout the drive.
Use the air conditioning – driving with the A/C on will help keep the internal temperature of the car nice and cool.
Try to park in the shade – if you stop along your drive, try to find a shady parking spot to avoid the sun heating up the vehicle.
Use a windscreen shade when parked because most of the heat enters the vehicle through the glass.
Dazzle from the sun can reduce visibility, but you can lessen the effect by keeping your windscreen nice and clean. Replace worn or damaged windscreen wipers to keep your screen clear and keep your vehicle clean overall.
It also pays to keep a pair of sunglasses in your car year-round.
Pedestrians and cyclists
In warmer weather, you’re more likely to encounter cyclists and pedestrians out and about on the roads. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings while driving and The Highway Code has clear rules and guidelines to ensure all road users are protected.
Driving at a safe speed and removing any distractions while driving will help you be aware of your surroundings. This also means you’ll be able to react in time should you encounter vulnerable road users.
Wet or lost keys
It’s easy to lose your car keys in the sand or ruin your remote control with water by accidentally taking your keys for a swim – keep your keys safe and dry.
If your remote stops working, check your handbook – on most cars, there’s an alternative way to open the doors.
If your hay fever is particularly bad, it’s best to get someone else to drive if you can.
If you can’t avoid driving:
Make sure any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness.
Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains in the vehicle.
Clean mats and carpets regularly to get rid of dust.
Keep tissues close to hand.
Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight.
Roads repaired with tar and loose chippings are a common sight in the summer. They can cause cracked headlamps and windscreens, and damage paintwork if you’re not careful. Stick to any temporary speed limit that’s been put in place, avoid overtaking and keep your distance from the vehicle in front.
Be prepared for an emergency
Ensure you have water for all passengers, including your pets (make sure you have a bowl for pets to drink out of). Also have some snacks on hand in case of a breakdown.
Have a first aid kit in your vehicle, as well as mobile phone chargers.
Take hats and sun cream in case you breakdown in an area with little or no shade.
Download the Driver App, and if you break down or have an emergency, you can send us your exact location via the app – or call us on 0333 220 0500.