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10 Essential Summer Driving Safety Tips

Anyone living in Britain knows that when it comes to the weather, anything other than wind and rain is something of a rarity! But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be properly prepared for hitting the road during our short-lived periods of glorious summer sun.

Driving in hot weather, particularly heatwave conditions, can pose significant challenges and risks to the health and safety of drivers, passengers, and passers-by alike. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 essential summer driving safety tips to help you stay safe (and cool) on the roads this summer.

Top up your fluids


Car engines get extremely hot in warm weather, especially in standstill traffic, so ensure your coolant is always topped up and check your oil levels before setting off on a long journey.

Bring your car in for a free vehicle health check at any Jardine Motors Group site and our technicians will check over all the key elements of your car to make sure everything is running the way it should be.

If you drive an older car or regularly clock up the miles, we recommend booking in for a service before you embark on any long road trips. Our manufacturer-trained technicians use state-of-the-art equipment and only genuine parts when servicing your car, so you can feel confident in the heat.

Start with a cool car


Give yourself the best chance of a relaxing drive by planning journeys early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day, park in the shade where you can, and use sunshades on hot days.

Allowing a few extra minutes to open doors and windows to circulate warm air or running your air-con will also help cool your car down and avoid immediate discomfort from the heat before setting off.

The latest in-car tech even allows you to pre-set your perfect temperature before setting foot inside. Enjoy the luxury of adjusting up to four-climate controlled zones within your car, meaning you and your passengers are at peak comfort in all weathers.

Keep hydrated & take regular breaks


It’s extremely important to keep hydrated when stuck in a long traffic jam under the searing sun. Take plenty of cold water with you before heading out on longer journeys – enough for you and all of your passengers. Investing in insulated drinks bottles for the kids is a great way to keep a source of cold water in the car, particularly after a long day of adventure.

Taking regular breaks can also help combat the feelings of drowsiness that come with the heat and try to share the driving on longer trips where possible.

Consider summer allergies


According to the NHS, around 10 million people suffer from hay fever in England alone – a condition which can be very problematic when driving.

The last place you want to be constantly sneezing is at the wheel of a car going at 70mph, but hay fever tablets are known to have side effects such as blurred vision and drowsiness, which could impair a person’s ability to drive.

Therefore, always check the label of your medication before taking them – especially if you’re planning on driving shortly afterwards.

Get a lift to the beer garden


On hot, sunny days people flock to beer gardens, barbeques, and festivals. As a result, summer drink driving becomes a major problem each year.

Before heading out to a summer social event, consider how you’re going to get home. Don’t drink if you’re driving and find another method of transport if you want to drink. This way you can enjoy the hot weather without putting yours and other people’s lives at risk.

Never leave your dog behind


Unfortunately, many people still think it is acceptable to leave their dog in the car during the summer. The RSPCA says that if it’s 22 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach 47 degrees within one hour, which can lead to dangerous and heart-breaking consequences.

Even parking in shade or leaving the windows down does not make the car a safe place for a dog in summer. So, unless you can take your dog with you wherever you go, leave it safely at home.

Avoid sun glare


Impaired vision from the sun is a common cause of accidents during the summer. Replace worn windscreen wipers to help keep your windscreen clean and use sunglasses and overhead sun visors to help block out the sun from your eyes.

Windscreens also get very dirty in dry weather and marks can amplify sun glare. Plenty of windscreen washer fluid will help you maintain a clear view in the sun – especially when travelling when the sun is low in the sky, typically during your commute.

Maintain tyre condition


Tyre blowouts are a more common occurrence in hotter weather due to warmer road temperatures. According to the AA, tyres with existing damage that are under inflated will become even more aggravated in higher temperatures, which increases the likelihood of blowouts and punctures.

Before setting off, it is extremely important to check your tyre pressure is at the optimum level, as well as anything you may be towing. For a more in-depth look at your tyre tread and overall health, pop in for a free vehicle health check or book your car in for a service at your local Jardine Motors Group dealership. 

Look out for more than just cars


Drivers have to share the roads with a lot more than just other cars during the summer months. Better weather and longer days attract far more tractors, caravans, horse riders, cyclists, and walkers.

It’s vital to remain alert when driving along country lanes in particular, and to avoid any risks when overtaking that could cause an accident. Motorcyclists appear more often too, so always look twice to ensure you’re aware of what’s around you.

Prepare for the inevitable rain


Finally, in Britain we always pay the price for little good weather we get. Be prepared to adapt your driving style in the event of any sharp changes in weather, as driving through heavy summer storms comes with a totally different set of challenges.