It’s nearly the bank holiday that UK households dream about as the Met Office predicts drier and brighter conditions across the country.
Millions will be hitting the roads to visit friends, family, and holiday destinations, all while soaking up the summer sunshine.
Whilst this is a great time to explore the country, drivers need to take extra precautions on their busier roads so give yourself extra time to enjoy the trip and sights along the way. Surprisingly, the majority of accidents occur during summer months, but most of these are easily avoidable if drivers take their time with extra preparation.
That’s why, LeasePlan UK has shared eight tips to keep you, your loved ones and your car safe over the weekend.
Top tips for drivers:
Dehydration can be as dangerous as alcohol. Severe symptoms can cause dizziness, fainting and pose a risk to drivers. Previous research from Loughborough University has found during summer there is a 146% increase in driver errors due to dehydration. Symptoms can include slower reaction times, loss of focus and muscle cramps – putting drivers and others at risk.
Never leave a young, elderly, or vulnerable person alone in a car. Even with the window left open, the temperature inside the car can end up being double the outside temperature.
Do not leave your pet in your car. Even with a sun-visor and window open, you shouldn’t leave your pet locked in a vehicle. As with children, dogs can suffer from heatstroke so are unable to cool themselves, and this can have fatal consequences and lead to prosecution for cruelty.
Always check the temperature of your child’s car seat. The uncovered buckles of car seats can reach such high temperatures they can cause second-degree burns.
Top tips for your car:
- Fluid levels: You should check your car’s fluid levels weekly and before heading off on a longer trip. Remember to check the engine coolant, oil, brake and windscreen wiper fluids.
- Tyres: Examine pressure and tread before heading off on your trips. If your car still has winter tyres, book your tyre change now. The heat can cause over-inflation and put you at risk of a blowout.
- Summer car kit: You should always have a standard kit in your car with a warning triangle, reflective jacket, first aid kit, phone charger, blanket and, if going abroad, your car’s registration documents. For summer, make sure you always have plenty of water, sunglasses, sunscreen, sunshades, and some non-perishable food in the car. More urban areas in France now require a windscreen sticker showing CO2 emissions and these have to be bought on-line in advance or risk a hefty fine.
- Windscreen wipers: British weather is unpredictable, even in summer. Check your wipers and make sure they’re in the best shape for any summer rainstorms. Summer is also a notorious time for bugs and other insects. Keep your windscreen and lights clean and free of bugs so you always have good visibility.
- Air conditioning: Don’t be tempted to turn your A/C all the way down. Having an extreme change between outside temperatures and the temperature inside can be detrimental and you could end up with a nasty summer cold. Try keeping the temperature 2-3 degrees cooler than outside.