We are all aware of taking extra precautions when driving in extreme winter conditions. For example, we are advised to clear our windscreens and lights of frost or snow before setting off and carry a blanket, torch and other provisions in the car in case we get stuck. However, there are different things to consider during the summer months, which may also help us to have a safe journey.
We love to see the sun shining in a blue sky. However, through the summer months, our visibility is most likely to be impaired by bright sunlight, even here in the UK! Driving into the sun produces glare, which makes us squint and shows up all the smears on our windscreen. This impairs our ability to get a clear view of what is occurring on the road ahead. The problem can be particularly bad when the sun is low, just before dusk and just after dawn.
In order to reduce the issue, ensure that you carry a pair of sunglasses in your car, ready to wear when needed. Also keep your windscreen clean, to minimise the effect of smearing. If your vision is hindered by the sun, reduce your speed in the same way as you are advised during fog or heavy downpours.
If you are carrying children or animals in the car through the summer months, detachable sun shades can be attached to the window to make conditions in the car more comfortable for them.
An overheating car is less common than it used to be, but it still stops many drivers in their tracks every year. To minimise the risk, you need to regularly check your coolant levels through the summer months and keep them topped up. Also look out for signs of leaks on the coolant hoses and ensure that you car’s fan is in good working order.
Drivers and passengers can also overheat if they are stuck in the car for a long time on a hot day. When you get hot, it is easy to get dehydrated, sleepy or more easily frustrated, all of which can affect your driving. Take regular breaks on long journeys, parking your car in the shade if possible. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and keep cold bottled water in the car. On the hottest days try to make long journeys in the early morning or late evening.
The heat of the road also impacts on your car’s tyres. If they are damaged or under-inflated, there is an increased risk of punctures and blow outs. If your MOT highlights that a tyre has wear and tear, it can be a good idea to get it replaced, even if this isn’t bad enough to fail the MOT. Regularly check your tyre pressure and make sure you amend the levels if you plan to tow a caravan or trailer.
MOT and Service
Your annual MOT will help to ensure that your car is fit for the road and safe to drive. If you are looking for a reliable team to undertake your MOT, Holmer Green Service Centre has the tools, knowledge and experience to keep your car on the road for longer. For a more thorough check and general maintenance, you can also book a service with us.