8 Potential Hazards Drivers Face During the Summer
You might think driving during the summer is easier, what with it being lighter and the days much longer. The truth is these four or so months in the middle of the year present their own unique hazards.
The team at Queen’s Park Garage in Bournemouth have gotten together to explore the things you need to keep an eye open for. Here’s our top 8 list of driving hazards during the summer months:
1. More Traffic on the Roads
Especially close to Bank Holidays, you’ll see more cars around in general. Greater numbers of tourists flock to the coats and national parks during the summer and were more likely to ‘go somewhere’ for the weekend. If you’re on motorways or country roads, it means you need to be extra vigilant when switching lanes or approaching crossroads.
If you want to avoid traffic jams and get to your destination on time, you also need to leave yourself enough time for your journey. Being stuck in traffic can make us impatient and that often means we step on the accelerator when we do get free road ahead.
2. Overheating Kids and Pets
Most pet owners know that they shouldn’t leave their favourite pooch in the car when it’s warm. The temperature inside a car can rise quite quickly and dramatically and cause your animal distress. It’s not just your dog or cat you should be worried about. It goes without saying you shouldn’t leave kids alone in the car and that you should take them with you (even when you don’t really want to!!)
The summer weather brings out budding Tour de France wannabes so you’re likely to see a lot more bikes out in traffic. Make sure you keep a good eye on the road ahead and give cyclists as much room as possible. Keep a look out especially in rural areas and when navigating blind corners.
4. Sheep and Other Animals
If you love driving down country lanes, it’s amazing the amount of farmland animals and wildlife you are likely to come across. Whether it’s sheep or pheasants, horses or deer hitting these at a high speed isn’t just bad for the animal, it can spell catastrophe for your front end. Pay special attention at night for foxes and badgers that may be crossing country roads.
5. Overloading Your Car
When you’re heading away for the weekend or a well-earned holiday, it can be tempting to load up your car as much as you possibly can. Try to avoid blocking windows and reducing your field of view as this can be dangerous. If you do have a lot to travel with, invest in a roof rack and box to store away your things.
6. Sun Glare
While it can also happen in the winter, you are more likely to have this problem during the summer. Bright sun low in the sky reduces visibility and can put you at risk, especially in busy areas. Make sure you have shades to help cut down the glare and take extra time to check at junctions before you move out.
High temperatures can do more than make the kids fractious, they could have an impact on your car. Always make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition before the hot weather really starts to take hold. Having a service around this time will ensure your tyres, engine, clutch and breaks are all in good order.
Finally, there are more people on the street during hot weather and they’re not always paying attention to what’s going on around them. Whether you’re in town on your way to the shops or at some seaside resort, keep your eyes open and expect the unexpected.