We all know that winter brings unpleasant driving conditions like icy roads and car troubles such as frozen engines, but what does the summer bring? This season comes with its own driving hazards, so what are the primary problems and how can you remain safe when driving on the road?
Whether you’re driving at home or somewhere sunny abroad, each comes with its own potential problems. Here are a few tips for keeping your car running in the summer months.
1. Check your tyres
High temperatures can increase the risk of a blowout if your tyres are damaged or at the wrong pressure. Be sure to check your tyres regularly for cracks and other damage, and make sure the air pressure is correct before you set off on a long journey.
2. Check your coolant
The summer heat can also cause problems with your cooling system, so check your coolant regularly to avoid overheating.
3. Check your vehicle before making a long journey
Other parts of your vehicle to check are oil and water levels, headlights and indicators, and whether you have safety equipment with you such as a torch, warning triangle and first aid kit. If you’re travelling abroad, find out what you legally need to have in your car (such as a breathalyser) as the requirements will be different depending on which country you are driving in.
4. Keep sunglasses in your car
The bright sunshine can cause problems with your vision while driving, especially when the sun is low. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car in case you need them and keep your windscreen as clean as possible to reduce the risk of being dazzled.
5. Guard yourself against hayfever
Sneezing fits and running eyes aren’t great conditions for driving, so if you suffer from hayfever it’s a good idea to let someone else drive or guard yourself against the symptoms. Keep windows and air vents closed, keep your car clean to reduce dust, and make sure any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness.
6. Don’t pack too much
If you’re heading out on holiday and you don’t tend to pack light, make sure your car can cope with a heavy load and that it won’t affect your handling – your manual will tell you the maximum weight you can carry. Don’t forget to consider how many passengers you are carrying too, and factor that in. Make sure your luggage doesn’t obstruct your view.
7. Watch out for cyclists
Summer and good weather means there will be more cyclists and motorcyclists out and about, so be careful when driving behind and overtaking them – especially on winding country lanes.
8. Be aware of other tourists
If you’re going to a popular destination, or you happen to live in a tourist spot, be aware that there may be many other drivers around who are unfamiliar with the local roads, and take extra care around hesitant road users.
9. Keep your keys safe
It’s easy to lose your keys on a sandy beach, or even in the sea if you don’t keep them secure. Water could also damage your keys, so make sure you keep them safe wherever you are.
10. Drive carefully in the rain
Of course, this is Britain, so summer might not be all dry weather and heatwaves. Be prepared for rain and drive carefully, especially if it’s heavy or the ground has become muddy.
If you need to replace any parts on your car before making a trip this summer, search our stock of car breakers online or visit one of our car breakers yards in Edinburgh and York.