The first glimpses of summer are finally here, and it’s time to embark on your next exciting adventure. However, before you rev up your engines and head out, it’s essential to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe throughout your journey.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance:
Before setting off on any summer road trip, it’s crucial to ensure that your vehicle is in optimal condition. Here are a few maintenance tasks to consider:
- Check your tires: Make sure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth for better grip on the road.
- Inspect your brakes: Ensure that your brakes are in good condition and have adequate pad thickness.
- Top up car fluids: Car engines can get extremely hot in warm weather, especially in standstill traffic, so always ensure your coolant is topped up.
Beat the Heat:
As temperatures rise during the summer, it’s essential to keep yourself and your vehicle cool. Here are some tips to beat the heat:
- Stay hydrated: Carry an ample supply of water and stay hydrated throughout your journey.
- Use sunshades: Invest in sunshades to keep the sun off the passengers in the back of the car and help keep some of the heat out.
- Never leave children or pets unattended: Never leave children or pets in a parked vehicle, even for a short period. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, leading to potentially life-threatening situations.
- Use the air conditioning: Driving with the A/C on will help keep the internal temperature of the car cool.
- Beware of Glare: Dazzle from the sun can reduce visibility, but you can lessen the effect by keeping your windscreen clean. Replace worn or damaged windscreen wipers to keep your screen clear. It also pays to keep a clean pair of sunglasses in your car year-round.
Plan Your Route and Rest Stops:
Sufficient planning can make a significant difference in your summer driving experience. Consider the following:
- Plan ahead: Avoid heavily congested roads by planning your route in advance. Take scenic routes and enjoy the journey while avoiding traffic jams.
- Schedule regular rest stops: It’s not safe to drive when tired. If you feel tired, stop in a safe place and take a break.
- Expect the unexpected: In heavy traffic, someone might cut you off or a motorbike may come filtering past you between lanes. Be aware of what’s happening around you to avoid dangerous situations.
- Remove distractions: Checking your phone is illegal while driving, and adjusting your car’s infotainment system is distracting. Avoid doing these activities while stuck in traffic.
Be Prepared for Emergencies:
No matter how well you plan, emergencies can still occur. Be prepared by taking these measures:
- Carry an emergency kit: Include essential items like a first aid kit, flashlight, extra water, battery cables, and a spare tire with the necessary tools.
- Have roadside assistance information: Keep the contact details of a reliable roadside assistance service provider handy.
- Protect from the sun: Take hats and sunscreen in case you break down in an area with little or no shade.
If you suffer from hay fever, it is advised to have someone else drive when possible. However, if you need to drive, the following measures may help:
- Make sure any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness.
- Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains in the car.
- Clean mats and carpets regularly to get rid of dust.
- Keep tissues close at hand.
- Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight.
As the summer sun beckons us to explore the great outdoors, it’s important to prioritise safety on the roads. By following these summer driving tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for yourself, your loved ones, and fellow road users. Remember, responsible driving and proper vehicle maintenance are key to making the most of your summer adventures.
Stay safe, and happy travels!