Essential Summer Driving Tips to be Aware of This Year

May 26, 2023 | Insights

Summer driving tips come in handy for when hot temperatures arrive along with relentless heat waves and congested highways.  Summer weather presents its unique hurdles for drivers looking to enjoy a stress-free trip.

Equipping yourself with knowledge about summer driving safety is as crucial as packing your sunscreen.

Understanding the effects of intense sunlight, the importance of maintaining a cool vehicle environment, and navigating through bumper-to-bumper traffic is foundational for any successful summer journey. Yet, many drivers embark unprepared, risking discomfort and danger.

This article provides a treasure trove of tips for summer driving to keep you and your vehicle in peak condition this summer.

You’ll discover the essentials for a trouble-free drive—whether it’s how to shield yourself from harsh UV rays, manage your car’s temperature, tackle busy roads, or stay refreshed during long hauls.

Buckle up as we gear up to make your next summer escapade as breezy as a coastal drive with these 5 key tips.

Top 5 Summer Driving Tips

As the temperatures rise, so do the unique challenges of summer driving.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey during the summer months, heed these top 5 tips:

  1. Vehicle Maintenance Check: Before you embark on your summer adventures, perform a proper vehicle maintenance check to avoid common breakdown issues in the summer. This includes ensuring your oil levels are at the correct level, your tyre pressure is accurate for hot weather conditions, and your windscreen wipers and air conditioning system are in top shape. You should also make sure you don’t have a dirty windscreen which can impede visibility. Performing a vehicle health check and safety checks is a surefire way to prevent breakdowns during heavy traffic and high temperatures.
  2. Keep Your Cool: Always carry plenty of water to stay hydrated and use air vents and air conditioning to effectively keep the vehicle’s internal temperature cool and to keep you and your passenger’s stress levels down at the same time.
  3. Plan Your Route: Know your route in advance to avoid road rage-inducing traffic. Route planners and apps can help navigate around congested areas to avoid standstill traffic, saving you plenty of time.
  4. Safe Driving Habits: Take regular breaks to combat fatigue, keep your windscreen clean for better visibility, and wear a pair of sunglasses to protect against bright sunlight that can impede your vision. Make sure you always travel at a safe distance giving drivers behind plenty of time to see your brake lights which can be more difficult in direct sunlight than during the darker winter months.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: Always have a spare tyre and ensure it’s in good condition. It’s also wise to learn how to use it if you don’t already know. This small step can make a big difference in keeping your summer road trip on track.
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Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in making your summer driving experience both safe and pleasurable.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Driving in the summer months means longer days, brighter skies, and the potential for glare. To enhance your visibility and protect yourself from the bright sunlight, it’s essential to be prepared with a pair of sunglasses.

Not just a fashion statement, sunglasses are a safety tool that reduces glare and eases eye strain, making for safer road users. Keep a pair at hand year-round; you never know when the sun might peek out!

Moreover, the sun’s rays can be powerful and direct, especially for backseat passengers. Use a sun shield on back windows to keep your vehicle cool and protect passengers from excessive sun exposure.

In the driver’s seat, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of the humble sun visor. A simple adjustment to block out the sun can improve visibility immensely.

Remember, a clean windscreen is paramount as glare can amplify any smudges or dirt, hindering your vision.

Ensure that your wiper blades are in good condition to keep your windshield crystal clear. These simple yet effective summer driving tips can safeguard your journey against the challenging conditions posed by the summer weather.

Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy your summer road trip!

Keep Your Vehicle Cool

As summer heat intensifies, keeping your vehicle cool not only enhances comfort but is imperative for safety and proper functioning. Here’s how you can ensure a cooler journey during those hot summer months:

Regular Coolant Checks: The cooling system works overtime during summer. Periodically check your coolant levels and keep it filled to the correct level to prevent engine overheating.

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Effective Use of Air Conditioning: Driving with the air conditioner on maintains a comfortable temperature. Ensure your system is functioning properly and that air vents are clear for optimal circulation. This is particularly important for when you find yourself in traffic jams and keeping the air conditioning unit on keeps harmful fumes out.

Sun Shields and Tinted Windows: Install sun shields or use a sunshade on back windows; this simple addition can considerably cut down on rear passenger heat exposure, keeping everyone cool.

Hydration Stations: Carry iced water in an insulated bottle. Regular sips will keep you refreshed and hydrated as temperatures soar.

Shade Parking: Whenever possible, park in the shade. This little consideration can drastically reduce interior temperatures. Additionally, use a windscreen shade to keep the dashboard and steering wheel touchable and to protect your car’s interior from the sun’s harmful rays.

By following these simple summer driving tips, you can ensure your vehicle remains a haven of coolness, ready to take on the summer road trip or the daily commute.

Prepare for Heavy Traffic and Breakdowns

Planning for summer adventures on the road requires cautious preparation to tackle both heavy traffic, slow traffic and potential breakdowns.

As summer months bring heavier traffic, it’s essential to prepare by planning your route in advance, leaving plenty of time to accommodate unexpected delays such as road closures. Driving during off-peak hours can also help you avoid the stress of congested roads. Mobile phones offer the latest traffic updates, just don’t look at them whilst driving – unless you’re using a sat-nav with built-in traffic in a hands-free holder.

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When preparing for high-traffic conditions, it’s important to drive defensively.

Anticipate the actions of other road users to ensure safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents. Distractions, such as mobile devices or car infotainment systems, should be avoided to maintain focus and ensure quick reaction times. Make sure you follow the speed limits at all times and keep your eye out for speed cameras to avoid unnecessary points and fines. It’s easy to switch off in the summer sunshine all too easily.

Make sure you plan extra time so that you keep to a safe speed at all times, especially factoring in peak times.

An emergency kit tailored for summer driving tips is a must-have. It should include at least:

  • A torch,
  • Jump leads,
  • A spare tyre with the correct level of tyre pressure,
  • Basic tools,
  • Mobile phone charger/battery pack,
  • Extra water and snacks for hydration and sustenance during delays.

Preparation enhances safety and lessens inconvenience during summer road trips. Regular breaks will keep both stress levels and vehicle health in check. Remember, a well-maintained vehicle is less likely to break down, so perform a thorough vehicle check before hitting the road.

Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks

When embarking on summer driving adventures, the importance of staying hydrated cannot be overemphasised.

Bright sunlight and hot weather can create a dehydrating environment in your vehicle, leading to reduced concentration and increased fatigue.

Ensuring a steady intake of water can help maintain energy levels and enhance safety. Aim to drink water regularly, even before you feel thirsty, as thirst is a sign of already being dehydrated.

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In addition to hydration, taking regular breaks is a cornerstone of safe summer driving. Fatigue is a significant contributor to road accidents, and it’s advisable to take a 20-minute break every two hours.

Frequent breaks allow you to stretch your legs, refresh, and maintain alertness, ultimately contributing to a safer journey.

Here are key tips for ensuring hydration, fluid levels and rest during your summer road trip:

  • Hydration Essentials
    • Always carry sufficient water.
    • Drink frequently, not just when thirsty.
  • Rest Break Strategy
    • Plan your journey with rest stops.
    • Aim for a break every two hours.
    • Use breaks to replenish fluids.

By managing your hydration needs and planning for sufficient rest, you can minimise stress levels and fatigue, leading to a more enjoyable and secure summer driving experience.

Summary

Get ready for your stress-free summer road trip with these essential driving tips.

  • Start by ensuring your vehicle is in top shape with a thorough check-up and a well-stocked emergency kit.
  • Stay hydrated to combat the dehydrating effects of hot weather and maintain focus while driving.
  • Take regular breaks to combat fatigue and stay alert on the road.

With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a safe and enjoyable summer driving experience.

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