Summer Driving Tips
Summer is here and so it's time to make sure your car is ready for the warmer weather and increased holiday traffic. We have put together some essential Summer Driving Tips so your journey is a breeze, after all we don't want you to overheat.
You might be tempted to budget the bare minimum in fuel (especially with prices as they are), but remember our roads are likely to be congested throughout the summer holidays, with more travellers on the road. You might need to consider extra fuel for traffic jams and keeping cool on hot summer days.
Batteries are the number 1 cause of summer breakdowns. Imagine it… you’re crawling through seaside traffic for miles and the kids have got their tablets and phones all plugged in… The chances are, you might not be moving fast enough to regenerate battery power. Your service advisor will advise you if your battery health is looking low, alternatively, you can always drop into our dealership for a battery health check before a long journey for peace of mind.
For a lot of people, a summer holiday involves their biggest road trip of the year – whether it be to the airport, or for a staycation in old Blighty. It’s important to visually inspect the tyres on your car (plus any trailers or caravans) before setting off on a long journey. Look for any cracking and check the tread depths are acceptable. If you’re not sure your tyres are up to the task, one of our technicians will be happy to advise you.
Do you know what to do in the event of a summer blowout? Remember your vehicle may be fully laden with passengers and suitcases over the summer and your tyres will be under more stress. Check any space saver wheels are in good order. If you’re vehicle has a tyre repair kit, it’s worth familiarising yourself with how to use it.
If you have your vehicle regularly serviced, then overheating is unlikely to be a worry for you. However, high temperatures and long journeys can aggravate cooling-system problems. It’s important to make sure your coolant is regularly topped up and to have your coolant system inspected occasionally, too.
Glare from the sun can seriously reduce your visibility and has the potential to cause an accident. You can reduce the effect by keeping your windscreen nice and clean. Be sure to top up your screen wash before long journeys and replace any worn wiper blades, to keep them effective at clearing your screen.
You might also want to consider keeping a pair of sunglasses in the car for those blazing summer days…
This time of year can be very uncomfortable for hayfever sufferers. You should allow for this before driving. Try setting your air conditioning to circulation-mode – to prevent pollen from outside making its way into your cabin. You should also hoover your mats regularly to remove any pollen grains that you may have brought into the car after you’ve been out and about exploring. Plus, please check that any medication you are taking does not cause drowsiness before you drive.
If feel you need to sneeze – slow down! You can travel a long way with your eyes shut at 70mph!
Other road users
Horse riders, cyclists, road-runners… you could come up against many unusual obstacles on the road this summer. Make sure to give plenty of space when passing other road users and do so at a low speed. In traffic, check your mirrors regularly for cyclists and motorcyclists who may easily go unnoticed.
Please dispose of your cigarette butts responsibly – especially during the summer months. You may be tempted to throw your smouldering cigarette out the window but, if it lands in the bone-dry grass verge, it may be enough to start a roadside fire.
Ah…. A countryside favourite. Please be aware of more tractors on the road around this time of the year as they work hard to stock our shelves. You should allow for extra time in case of unexpected delays, such as getting stuck behind a slow-moving farm vehicle. Plus, keep an eye out for any debris, including airborne straw and mud on the roads.
Be patient, and pass only when it is clear.
Your ultimate fail safe. It is always recommended that you have breakdown cover in case of emergencies. Breakdown cover can ensure that you get to your destination, no matter what happens on your journey.
Things to take in the car for a long journey
- A first aid kit
- A warning triangle
- A high visibility vest/jacket
- A fire extinguisher
- An empty fuel can
- Additional engine oil and water (for topping up)
- An up-to-date road map or sat-nav
- A fully charged mobile phone and ideally an in-car mobile phone charger
- Take plenty of water and refreshments and take regular breaks
- Take sun cream in case you breakdown, especially abroad
- If you have children, take some games you can play in the car during the journey
- Take extra supplies of medication, you may not be able to get them if you’re abroad