For newly qualified drivers, a change in season (and therefore hopefully weather!) can result in very different driving conditions than those in which they learned to drive.
Whilst there can be little doubt that hitting the road during the summer months is inherently better than driving during the dull, dark days of winter when you may have taken your driving lessons in Chertsey, the high temperatures and busy seaside routes offer up their unique challenges and to help ensure that your trip passes without unwelcome drama, we have drawn up our 5 essential summer driving tips.
1. Don’t Head Out Without Checking Your Tyres
High temperatures can be very hard wearing on a vehicle’s tyres and it is essential that you make sure that you do not drive with tread below the legal limit. Heat on the roads will only add to existing rubber damage, so make sure that you check the integrity of your tyres before setting off on a journey.
It is also a very good idea to ensure that tyres are inflated to the correct levels. Under inflated tyres will increase friction with the road, which in turn will increase the potential for damage and blow-outs.
2. Pack Your Sunglasses!
One of the most important item when packing for any summer holiday is a pair of sunglasses and the same can be said when heading out on a sunny day.
The glare from the sun, particularly at dusk and dawn, poses a very real danger to drivers and is widely acknowledged to be the cause of countless accidents each year.
To reduce the risk posed by glare, wearing a pair of sunglasses along with ensuring that your windscreen is cleaned (inside and out) will help to maximise your vision.
3. Staying Alert
Few things bring on fatigue quicker than being sat in a car with the sun beating down on it. If you feel as though you are beginning to bake, stay fresh by taking a 15-20 minute break every two hours on long journeys to help combat tiredness.
If you feel tired while driving, open a window and turn the radio up until you reach the nearest services.
4. Keep Temperatures Low
When attempting long journey’s, car cooling systems can be prone to failure. You should always check that your coolant reservoir is topped up as well as checking coolant hoses to make sure there are no signs of wetness or white staining – these could indicate a leak.
Perform a check on the fan by idling the car for 5 minutes at normal temperature – if the fan does not kick in then there may be a problem.
5. Maximise Your Awareness
The increase in temperature often coincides with an increase in the number of road users. Not only do more people start to jump into their car, bicycles, motorbikes and pedestrians become far more common. Each of these road users is vulnerable and does not have the protection of a car in the event of a collision. Therefore exercising extra vigilance is absolutely essential.