British summertime can be relatively unpredictable. Usually, we can expect three months of some blissful sunshine and warm weather. But as temperatures continue to rise across the globe, even us Brits are experiencing relentless heatwaves. It only takes a few days of blazing sun and high temperatures to alter the road conditions and how our vehicles respond to them, posing safety risks to drivers and passengers alike. Therefore, to help you battle driving in hot weather, we have some top tips to ensure a stress-free road trip this summer.
1. Check Your Tyres
Driving in hot weather can increase tyre pressure, causing the air inside your tyres to expand. To prevent your tyres from exploding, maintain optimum tyre pressure, regularly check your tyre quality and repair any existing damage.
2. Maintain Adequate Engine Coolant Levels
Engine coolant – a mixture of water and antifreeze – prevents the liquid in your car’s radiator system from overheating when driving in hot weather. Before you embark on your next car journey, check your engine coolant levels by viewing the minimum and maximum markers on the coolant tank. If you need a top-up, uncap the coolant tank when the engine is cool and refill.
3. Refill Your Tank
When your car is exposed to hot weather, its fuel level drops much quicker than usual. To avoid getting stranded on a hot summer’s day, be sure to head to the petrol station and refill your tank before you travel.
4. Begin Your Journey In a Cool Car
To give yourself the best chance of a safe and comfortable drive, run the aircon before starting your journey to avoid immediate discomfort. If you have stop-offs during the trip, try to park in shaded areas to prevent your car from overheating whilst you’re away. Alternatively, you could invest in a windscreen shield to guard your vehicle against the sun’s unforgiving rays.
5. Avoid Sun Glare
To avoid impaired vision from the sun, keep your windscreen clean by replacing worn windscreen wipers and ensuring you have enough windscreen washer fluid. In addition, make use of your sunglasses and overhead sun visors to block the sun from your eyes.
6. Stay Hydrated
It’s absolutely essential to remain hydrated when driving in hot weather. If you become dehydrated, common symptoms include dizziness, irritability and tiredness, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Therefore, we recommend packing plenty of cold water before setting off, enough to quench the thirst of you and all your passengers.
7. Don’t Underestimate Your Summer Allergies
NHS data shows that over 10 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever. This can be extremely problematic when driving in hot weather; constant sneezing and irritable eyes can be very distracting and increase the likelihood of an accident. To ease your symptoms, be sure to pack your allergy medication.
8. Be Extra Vigilant
Long summer days encourage a spike of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads. Therefore, it’s even more vital to remember what you were taught during your driving lessons and be extra and be observant when driving, keeping your eyes peeled for more than just motorists.
9. Be Prepared for Unpredictable Weather
When us Brits have the pleasure of warm weather, we can almost guarantee it will be shortly followed by heavy rainfall. Be prepared to quickly adapt your driving style in the event of a sudden weather change, and remember, summer storms bring a whole new set of driving challenges.
10. Pull Over
If you experience any issues when driving in hot weather, from your engine overheating to feeling dehydrated, find a safe place and pull over immediately; continuing to drive, even if it’s a short distance, could be disastrous.