Summer Driving Tips
Schools out, the sun is shining (well we can live in hope!), you’ve had your Summer Car Health check done and now you’re getting ready to hit the road!
Car safety checks should include (at the very least) tyre tread and pressure, engine oil, coolant and screen wash levels, and it may sound obvious but remember to fuel up. Surprisingly, running out of fuel is still one of the most common causes of breakdown on the UK’s motorways. Make sure you always use the right type of fuel too, you wouldn't believe how many people get it wrong which can be a costly mistake.
As well as checking your car is in tip top condition, there are some other important aspects to keep in mind when travelling this summer all of which will help you avoid stress, save you money and maximise the time you have to relax.
Hay fever can be very dangerous for drivers - slow down and drop back if you feel you're about to sneeze.
One in three drivers admits to being distracted by hay fever and two million drivers are thought to have had an accident, near miss or loss of control of their vehicle, as a direct result of hay fever.
So, if you are a hay fever sufferer, it’s important to follow these tips:
- Make sure any medication you’re taking is non-drowsy
- If your hay fever is particularly bad, try to get someone else to drive if you can
- Keep windows and air vents closed to reduce pollen grains in the car
- Clean mats and carpets regularly to reduce dust
- Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight
Check for fuel
If you plan your fuel stops in advance you can save yourself money on your summer journey. Take a little time to find out where the cheapest petrol stations are on your route, and then you could spend the savings on some fish and chips at the seaside with your kids!
Here is an easier way you can find the cheapest fuel in your area here.
Use of mobile phones
Remember, you must not use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device whilst you are driving. Also make sure that you’ve checked the travel news before you leave and use the live traffic function if you own a SAT NAV with traffic update features.
Avoiding traffic jams
Preparation is the key. Don’t follow the crowds on busy motorways and A roads, go on your own leisurely way. Plan an alternative route to your destination, where you can.
Be strategic about your timing especially if you’re travelling during the working week, avoid rush hour and think about travelling back on a Sunday evening.
Check an online route planner or a mobile phone app for traffic news and pick up the latest travel bulletins on local radio for updates of any accidents or unexpected road closures.
If you or your passengers smoke in the car, make sure you don’t throw lit cigarettes out of the window when they’re finished with. Roadside grass can become extremely dry in hot weather and a smouldering cigarette could be enough to start a fire.
Keep the windscreen clean
Summer driving can mean tired eyes and together with dazzle from the bright sun can be a dangerous combination. Keep your windscreen clean at all times, get scratches and chips repaired, use your sun visor and wear non light reactive sunglasses.
Your car needs to stay cool in the heat of summer. Vehicles heat up quickly so make sure your cooling system is in full working order. If the coolant leaks or the fan is faulty, the car could overheat – which could prove expensive, so ensuring it’s very important that it’s in good working condition.
Having enough to drink
Keeping yourself hydrated will aid concentration levels whilst driving. Avoid fatigue and the possibility of becoming dehydrated by taking frequent break. Just a few minutes will make a big difference and won’t drastically impact on your overall journey time.
Take anti sickness remedies
Prevent car sickness for you and your passengers by making sure you carry travel sickness remedies with you. There is nothing worse than being sick or feeling nauseous when you’re driving and having poorly children in the back of the car could make your journey a lot harder. As well as over the counter anti sickness tablets there are other methods to help keep travel sickness at bay. Acupressure bracelets have a small plastic button on the inside which puts gentle pressure on acupuncture points. One final remedy would be to try ginger biscuits as ginger can act as a natural remedy to nausea.