As the summer season approaches, many new drivers are eager to embark on road trips and feel liberated. However, ensuring safety should be a top priority. From maintaining your vehicle to navigating through traffic and minimising distractions, these essential tips will equip you with the knowledge and guidance needed to make the most of your summer journeys while keeping yourself and your passengers safe.
Expect delays in summer and be mindful of vehicles towing caravans, pedestrians and cyclists.
Planning ahead with the AA route planner can help you choose a less congested route and avoid roadworks and heavy traffic. This technology can help you to navigate from A to B confidently, reducing stress.
Additionally, check the weather forecast in advance for thunderstorms or heat waves. This allows you to adjust travel time and better prepare by packing essentials like water, snacks and waterproof clothing.
Don’t Drink or Drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol poses a significant risk of accidents, injuries and even fatalities. Therefore, committing to never drinking and driving can ensure a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
If you plan to attend summer social gatherings where alcohol will be served, designate a sober driver, use ride-sharing services or arrange alternative transportation.
The pleasant weather and longer daylight hours may tempt drivers to become complacent or engage in potentially distracting behaviours, such as using mobile devices, adjusting music, dancing and singing with their front passenger.
To deal with distractions effectively, new drivers can keep their mobile devices out of reach and invest in a hand-free set, allow front passengers to adjust music and prioritise focusing on the road over multitasking.
Sun glare occurs when sunlight directly hits the windshield, obstructing the driver’s view and causing temporary blindness.
To prevent the risk of accidents, maintain a clean windshield inside and out. This can help to reduce glare caused by dust, smudges or streaks. Summer driving tips often emphasise the need for windshield washer fluid and to ensure the reservoir is full before a journey.
It’s also worth investing in a pair of anti-glare sunglasses and using the car’s sun visor to block the direct sunlight.
Excessive heat inside a vehicle can lead to discomfort and fatigue, affecting concentration and alertness while driving.
To deal with this effectively, ensure proper ventilation, such as opening the windows or using air conditioning. When tired, take a break and park in the shade and use a windshield shade for extra protection.
Never Leave Kids or Pets in the Car
Among the most crucial summer driving tips is the warning against leaving children and pets unattended in a hot vehicle. It’s incredibly dangerous, as the interior temperature can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke, dehydration and suffocation.
Drivers should always ensure that children and pets are safely removed from the car before leaving it unattended.
If you come across a situation where you see a child or pet left alone in a parked car, take immediate action by alerting authorities or finding help to rescue them.
Prevent Break Down
The warmer weather can strain a car’s engine and other components, increasing the risk of punctures and overheating.
Before taking a long trip, consult a trusted mechanic for advice. They can guide you in inspecting and maintaining your coolant, ensuring proper engine oil levels and monitoring the temperature gauge. Additionally, don’t forget to check your tyres for correct pressure and tread depth for ultimate road grip. A reputable driving instructor may also be able to provide advice.
To prevent getting stranded on the roadside, have a reliable breakdown cover in place.