Summer Driving Tips
Driving in Summer is generally a lot more enjoyable than driving in the cold, wet Winter months and there is usually less maintenance involved with keeping your car running at optimum performance.
Winter driving means you have to ensure you have de-icer on hand, your screen wash has anti-freeze and the tyres may need to be switched over, ready for the wet road conditions. Then of course there’s the additional energy used by having the heating turned up.
Thankfully, Summer is much simpler, but there’s still lots of things to consider.
Animals on the road
As the weather heats up and the days are longer, animals tend to be out of hibernation and out and about, especially in the countryside. Animals are quite skittish and obviously don’t understand the dangers of road traffic.
There are certain animals that can cause danger to road users, with deer being the main one. Deer can cause untold damage to a car on impact, but there’s also other dangers animals pose to road users such as people swerving for an animal, potentially causing a collision with another vehicle.
Deer are technically active 24 hours a day, however, during the evening or early morning when there is less traffic and general disturbance, they are more likely to be more active and on the move. Deer can appear suddenly from bushes and trees, especially in less built up areas where there are fields or open space around.
Sun shining through – longer days
Because the days are longer, the sun is often out for more hours during the day. During the Summer months in particular, the sun can be shining as late as 9pm and as early as 5am, so it’s important to take the same precautions as you would during the height of the day.
At the beginning and the end of the day, the sun is lower in the sky so it usually shines in through the windscreen more aggressively than when it is higher up during the day.
Utilise your visors – even though the sun is lower, you can still use your visors to try and block some of the light.
Sunglasses – sunglasses will help block some of the shine and brightness that the sun gives off, especially as it refracts through your windscreen.
Clean windscreen – you may have noticed when you have smudges or marks on your windscreen, they seem much more prominent when the sun is shining on them. Keep your windscreens clear from dirt and grime, keeping your windscreen cleaner topped up at all times.
Longer journeys – staycations
You will likely be making not only more trips than normal, but longer journeys during the Summer months. This is because staycations are more popular during the holiday period and because the days are longer, you can make long journeys in the daylight hours.
If you are likely to be making a considerable journey this Summer or are heading on a staycation which will involve a lot of driving, there are some considerations to make:
Whilst air-con can’t affect your safety, it can make the journey incredibly uncomfortable on a hot day, especially if you get stuck in traffic or you are making a long trip.
Air-cons will run at optimum performance if they have recently been serviced or had a re-gas, making the air cooler and cleaner. It also keeps your car running more efficiently which can have an effect on the costs associated with running the air-con system.
Traffic jams/ emergency kit
With more people on the road, traffic jams become less unprecedented, so it’s important to be prepared in case you find yourself stuck on a motorway with no way to exit and take a different route.
You should always have an emergency kit in your vehicle, which consists of water, sun-cream, snacks, a first aid kit and phone charger so you are covered for a few hours at least.
You could also add a blanket to this kit, in case the temperature drops later in the day or you need to pull over for a rest stop.
Vulnerable road users
During the Summer months, there’s noticeably more vulnerable road users out and about. This could include cyclists who are out enjoying the countryside and warm weather as well as horse riders who will usually hack down country lanes.
Its important to drive to the road conditions and always be prepared for vulnerable road users, including walkers when there isn’t a suitable pathway.
Towing a caravan
When considering a staycation, you might want to take your caravan away with you to save money on hotels. If you have a caravan, or plan on making a purchase in the near future, you should make sure that your vehicle can tow safely.
Here at BCC Cars in Bolton and Blackburn, we have a range of models that can tow a caravan safely, making light work of going on a staycation.
First up is the Hyundai Santa Fe. With seven seats, the whole family can travel in one car, without needing to take multiple cars on your holiday.
Despite the large size, there is no compromise in style and design. The incredibly sleek exterior is eye catching and rivals high end brands. With 18” or 20” alloys and LED headlights, the Santa Fe fits into almost any environment.
With 550 litres of boot space, there’s more than enough room for all of your luggage and equipment.
You can tow up to 2,500kg with the Santa Fe, making it one of the most suitable vehicles for staycations.