As the summer holidays approach and lockdown eases, we are set to enjoy more road trips and “staycations” this summer, swapping airports and planes for motorway services and cars.
With the weather heating up, many of us are heading out on the road with families to explore and embark on a mini summer adventure.
So how can you make driving a breeze and ensure that you avoid breakdowns and drive safely this summer? Cars can get hot and stuffy for longer journeys even with great air-conditioning, and a large supply of water. To avoid delays and allow for breaks it’s always a good idea to prepare yourself, your car and your route before setting off.
Here’s our advice to help with the bigger challenges of summer driving and to ensure that the start of your trip is a great one!
Plan your journey ahead – Ensure that you check the weather, road conditions, and traffic –either via an online route planner or a mobile phone app providing traffic updates, local radio stations can also be helpful. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely (although part of the mission of getting there is gathering all the troops together!). Avoid travelling back on a Sunday evening before a school term starts. And if you’re on holiday, but it’s a working weekday then plan your trips to avoid rush hour.
Essential car check – Basic checks before you set out can avoid unnecessary break downs during the journey. As a minimum, check the engine oil, coolant and screen-wash levels are correct. Check the car’s tyres for tread and pressure – make sure you have enough fuel too, keep your gas tank close to full whenever possible. Punctures are more likely to occur if your tyres are already damaged or they’re at the wrong pressure, the higher temperatures of summer will increase the risk of a blowout.
You can also apply all these safety checks that we previously mentioned here: https://www.cvsl.co.uk/blog/2020/04/
Avoid overheating – High temperatures can aggravate cooling system problems too. It’s important to check the coolant and cooling system regularly to avoid overheating.
Avoid glare – Dazzle from the sun causes lots of accidents but you can reduce the effect by keeping your windscreen nice and clean, and by replacing worn or damaged windscreen wipers.
Stay alert – On long trips try to stop at some stage, to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you are feeling sleepy, even if it affects your arrival time to your destination – take breaks!
Car entertainment – If you’re travelling with children, pack toys and games that will keep them occupied and reduce the chances of them distracting your attention from the road.
Drink up – Of the h2o kind of course. In general you should always look to stop in a safe place for food and drinks stops. As mentioned, avoid getting over-tired or dehydrated; take frequent breaks from driving.
Heatstroke – This mainly applies to children in the car. If it is a hot day and children are left unattended in a car park for instance even for a few minutes. Vehicles heat up fast, especially temperatures inside the car, even with the windows down. Think about any pets travelling with you too! They will need regular comfort breaks, a leg stretch and a drink. Never leave your pet in a hot car while you go to the services for example.
Cool Car – Keeping a regular supply of cool air circulating inside the car will help you stay comfortable and alert.
So there you have it. CVSL’s little guide to ensure that you are ready to drive this summer!
If you need help finding that perfect vehicle for your next trip get in touch.