With the clocks having changed and the weather warming up, many drivers are unaware that summer driving can pose similar risks to winter driving.
Uswitch have put together a checklist on things to do in preparation for getting back in the car now the travel restrictions have eased slightly.
Joel Kempson, car insurance expert at Uswitch.com says: “The majority of drivers understand that there are certain things to look out for when driving in colder conditions, yet many are unaware that warmer weather can also have an impact on your car.
“As the weather brightens up and we ease out of strict lockdown, drivers will be heading out on the roads during the long weekend. What they must make note of is that there are several things to consider before using your car for journeys if it’s been sat idle for longer than normal.
“Easy tasks such as a simple wheel check before setting off could save you from a dangerous blown out tyre caused by warm weather, not to mention the time and cost implications.”
Tires blowouts are most common in hot weather.
You may not have driven in much over the last few months, so completing a routine car safety check is really important. Check your lights, your oil level, coolant, tire tread and inflation and brakes - just to make sure it’s all still working. If you’re unsure how to do this, take your car to your local garage and get them to conduct an inspection.
Fatigue causes a quarter of all serious road accidents
Summer heat and general dry warm weather conditions can cause fatigue and drowsiness, especially when driving in a hot vehicle. Making sure you’re equipped with plenty of water accessible to you whilst driving is essential, and making regular stops to get fresh air and stretch is advised as well.
Journey times could treble over Easter bank holiday weekends
With many people avoiding public transport but the weather reaching March highs, there is bound to be a lot of traffic on the most popular routes to national parks, the seaside and playgrounds. Check the traffic before you go, as it may save you time sitting in a hot car in the middle of a traffic jam.
Being caught driving in flip flops will land you with a £100 fine
We all know that heels and flip flops are a no-go when it comes to driving, but even when your feet are sandy and it might be tempting to go barefoot for a short drive, this could be a huge hazard. Keeping a spare pair of trainers in the car could help avoid any risks and fines (the police could dish out a “driving without due care and attention”, meaning a £100 fine on the spot.
Bright sun and reflected glare could be just as bad as full beam headlights
Sunglasses, especially polarized ones can help minimise the effects of bright sun being reflected off other cars or shiny objects on the sides of the road. It might be worth keeping a pair handy in the car, if the sun is especially bright. If you're involved with an accident which is caused by not wearing sunglasses, you could face a fine of £100 with a “driving without due care and attention” charge.
Get breakdown cover - and make sure it’s still in date
Even though driving in the summer may feel safer, there are still different risks to consider on the road. Even if you’re a cautious and safe driver, others may not be. Breakdown cover provides the best option for any issues faced on the road. If you already have a policy, it might be worth double checking the renewal date to ensure you are still covered.
Summer sees most accidents for motorcycles and bicycles on the road
Think BIKE. Make sure your mirrors are in the right positions before setting off and keep an extra eye out on the road.
Read our full guide here: https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/summer-driving-tips/