in the summer - Things to check
By being prepared you can reduce the
risk of your summer driving going wrong. By covering the following
points you'll be well on your way to happy summer driving;
- Check to make sure your treads are legal and warn evenly. Make
sure you don't have any cracks or nails in them. Check your
handbook and make sure you're tyres are correctly inflated. When
the weather is hot, so are your tyres, and this can cause weak
parts of the tyre to fail, especially if your tyres are
- Take a peek under the bonnet and check that everything is
topped up to the correct levels, consult your handbook to find
out what the correct levels are. Check/top up the brake, clutch,
and power stearing fluids, but ensure that you use the correct
fluids to top up each. If your unsure, take it to a garage.
Keeping your radiator topped up is very important, as if you
don't your car will overheat. Carry round some spare water in
the boot just incase.
- Ensure that your windows are clean, especially your
windscreen and mirrors. Add screen wash to your windscreen
washer bottle, this will help clear and dead insects or smears
from your window. Clean your wiper blades, and replace damaged
or warn ones. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car to reduce
glare in sunny conditions.
your vehicle - By having your car serviced and MOT up
to date (having a valid MOT is a legal requirement) you will
significantly reduce the chances of breaking down.
- If you're driving in the summer, especially if it's a long
journey, one of the biggest factors will be the heat. Even just
the smallest amount of sunshine will quickly heat up your car.
Too much heat can dehydrate you, and make you tired; a big cause
of accidents on the UK's roads. Park your car in the shade and
keep some water in the boot incase you get thirsty.
- Hayfever sufferers hate the summer, and if they're driving,
things can become even more difficult. According to the AA if
you sneeze while driving at 70mph, you can lose your vision for
up to 100m. So if you sneeze 8 times in a row, you're driving
without being able to see for almost half a mile. Ensure you've
taken your medication, and make sure it's non-drowsy.
Things to look out
The summer can bring hazards that you
wouldn't normally need to look out for. Be aware and indeed expect
to see the following on Britain's roads during the summer months;
- As the days get hotter, the grass gets dryer. All
it takes is for 1 cigarette to be discarded and in no time
you've got a large fire. Smoke which drifts onto a major road
can significantly reduce visibility, and if there's a lot of it,
drifting smoke can disorientate you. Take care while driving
though smoke, if you cant see through it, you don't know what's
on the other side so slow down.
Chippings - It's not done to ruin your summer drive,
it's done because it's safer, and because during the school
summer holidays the roads are much quieter. Road works! Keep
your distance from other vehicles and watch your speed. A decent
sized piece of gravel can do some serious damage to your car.
Rain - If there's one thing certain during the
British summer, it's rain. A quick and unexpected burst of rain
can cause havoc on the roads. This will quickly lift any dried
mud from the road. Dried mud will also cause blockages to the
drainage systems, so you can expect there to be a significant
amount of localized flooding; if you hit a large puddle at speed
it can wreck your car and push you off the road.
- and other slow moving farm vehicles are ever present on
Britain's roads during the summer months. They're big, and slow,
and encourage drives to overtake dangerously, especially on
bendy country roads - be careful.