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Top 10 driving tips to stay safe this summer

19 July 2019

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Summer is in full swing which means that millions of Brits will be planning on getting in their car and driving off on a road trip. Driving in the summer can bring with it extra stress, with more traffic on the roads and higher temperatures, posing a greater risk to the health and safety of drivers and passengers.

Road traffic accident compensation specialists True Solicitors have complied a list of the top 10 driving tips to keep you safe on the roads this summer.

1. Prevent your car from overheating

Driving in a hot car can leave you feeling irritable and dehydrated. Wind down the windows or use the air conditioning to cool yourself down, and park in the shade to avoid your car overheating. Once your car has cooled to the desired temperature turn the air con off to save fuel.

Before setting off on a long car journey in the summer it is also important to check the coolant system and amount of coolant to avoid overheating.

2. Check tyre condition

Check the condition of your tyres to avoid blowouts which are more common in hot weather. Ensure that your tyres are at the optimum pressure for the load of the car, and make sure that they are free from punctures.

3. Avoid glare

One of the biggest causes of road traffic accidents in the summer months is glare from the sun impairing drivers’ vision leading to collisions. Avoid glare as best you can by wearing sunglasses, using the overhead sun visors, cleaning your windscreen and replacing worn or damaged windscreen wipers.

4. Avoid driving when tired

Driving for hours on end in high temperatures can make you feel more tired than usual. Make sure to stop at the nearest service station if you start to feel tired, rest and have a coffee to re-energise before driving again. Take a break every couple of hours on longer journeys and avoid eating a heavy meal that may make you feel lethargic.

5. Be wary of hay fever

If you suffer particularly badly with hay fever it is advisable to get someone else to drive if possible. Taking antihistamines to relieve the symptoms of hay fever can cause drowsiness and blurred vision. If you sneeze whilst driving at 70mph you will lose vision for up to 100m, making you extremely prone to colliding with another vehicle.

In order to reduce the effects of hay fever you can also:

  • Keep windows and vents closed to stop pollen grains entering the car.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun and pollen particles.
  • Clean car mats to get rid of dust.

6. Look out for other road users

It is not just other cars that you need to look out for on the roads during the summer but also more caravans, horses, tractors, cyclists and pedestrians. Remember to keep plenty distance behind tractors and horses, and overtake with caution. Pay particular attention when driving on country lanes for cyclists and walkers which may appear out of nowhere.

7. Keep hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids on long car journeys to avoid becoming dehydrated when stuck in traffic jams. It is also important to take enough water for you and your passengers.

8. Don’t leave pets in hot cars

If you’re travelling with pets it is extremely important not to leave your dog or cat in a parked car. Temperatures can quickly rise and animals can become unwell within as short a time period as 15 minutes. It is necessary to travel with water to keep animals hydrated whilst on the road.

9. Watch out for loose chippings

Tar and loose chippings are commonly used to repair roads in the summer. They can however cause vehicle damage in the form of cracked headlamps and windscreens, along with paintwork damage. Avoid damage from tar and loose chippings by sticking to the temporary speed limit and keeping distance from the vehicle in front.

10. Grass Fires

Do not throw cigarette butts out of the window when driving on a hot summer’s day. Dry grass verges and embankments can easily ignite and cause a fire.

What should I do if I’ve been involved in a road traffic accident?

If you have the unfortunate incident of being involved in a road traffic accident this summer, contact True Solicitors to handle your claim. True Solicitors have over 20 years’ experience handling claims for the victims of car accidents, including those who have been hit by an uninsured driver, victims of a hit and run and pedestrians who have been hit.

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