Not every hazard on the road occurs when the weather is bad. It might surprise you to know that accidents rise over summertime, too.
Here’s how to stay safe this summer on the roads.
First thing’s first. You want to stay cool on the roads this summer. This will help both you and your car!
Try and prepare for a cool start to your journey, by parking up in the shade, as much as possible. If you can do, park in a garage, away from the direct light.
If there is no shade, think about making some – a temporary awning for example.
Where it is safe to do so, park up with your windows rolled down, to allow some air into your vehicle.
A parked car can heat to dangerous levels in the summer sun. Even in the shade, on a hot day, temperatures in a car’s interior can reach 100 F.
Before setting off, run the engine, with the air con on for a few minutes, to cool it down.
WIND THE WINDOWS DOWN
When you have set off, roll down the windows and crank up the air con. This will displace the hot air and make the interior cool.
REMEMBER YOUR SHADES
Don’t allow sun glare to be the cause of an accident.
Being blinded by the sun is a sadly all too common cause for smashes at the wheel.
Remember a good quality pair of sunglasses. Check with your opticians which ones have been approved for driving in – because not all sunglasses are the same.
For some brief pointers, choose graduated lenses, which are darker at the top and lighter at the bottom.
This protects your eyes from bright light coming from the sun, but still allows you to see the dashboard properly.
Check the color of the sunglasses carefully, generally speaking, shades such as pink, green and blue are not advisable for driving in – they may make red lights harder to spot!
CLEAN THE WINDSHIELD
You also need to take care with your windshield.
Make sure it is clean and there is no debris on it, which might make it hard for you to see through.
This means making sure you have enough cleaner fluid before setting off, checking the windscreen wipers work properly and if you need to, some overhead sun visors to keep the worst of the sun out from your eyes.
CHECK YOUR TIRES
You are more likely to experience a blowout in the summer, than other times of year.
If your tires are in anyway damaged, or poorly inflated, the risk of puncture increases. Check your tires carefully before setting off on your summer road trip.
See if there are any signs of unevenness in them. Look at the wear bars on the tires to see if they are equally worn.
This also applies to the tires on any trailer or van you are towing.
KEEP HYDRATED – YOU
Remember, driving is thirsty work, so bring enough water to keep hydrated.
KEEP HYDRATED – YOUR VEHICLE
It is not only you that needs to remember to bring enough to drink. Cars are very hot places in the summer and can get even hotter in traffic jams.
Make sure there’s enough coolant in the engine before setting off.
GET A CAB TO SUMMER PARTIES
If you are off out to enjoy the sunshine with a few beers, either at a house party or bar somewhere, then either take a cab, or get a lift.
One small one can turn into more, without you realizing it and added to the summer heat, could leave you in no state to drive to home.
Don’t risk it.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR
It should be well known now, that dogs can die in hot cars. Even when it is not all that hot outside, a car interior can soar to over a hundred and fifteen degrees.
Don’t ever be tempted to leave your dog in the car on a hot day, no matter how a short period it is.