Summer Driving Safety Guide
Reduce road risks by following our Rent Direct recommendations
As the weather heats up it’s important to take care when it comes to driving in hot and sunny conditions. High temperatures can create many problems for motorists, so it’s best to be prepared.
Did you know that battery failure is the main cause of a summer breakdown on UK roads? Or that over 2,000 road-based accidents are caused by the sun impairing drivers vision?
To help you prepare for every eventuality when it comes to summer motoring, here at Rent Direct, we’ve put together a special summer driving safety guide - we hope you find it useful!
Take care around tractors
Tractors and other slow moving farm machinery are a common sight in the summer, especially if you live or travel in the countryside. Although being stuck in tractor-caused tailbacks can be frustrating, always overtake with extreme caution.
Remember that most tractor drivers will pull-over and allow you to pass as soon as it’s convenient, so you won’t usually have to wait too long until you can safely pass by.
Allow more time to travel
It’s estimated that an extra nine million vehicles travel on the roads in the UK during the summer holidays, which means the chances of traffic congestion are increased. Rushing around can lead to speeding which increases your chances of an accident, so don’t take the risk.
Why not allow an extra 10 minutes for your journey during the summer holidays or at weekends to reduce the chances of running late.
Beware of breakdowns
A vehicle breakdown is not only frustrating and time consuming, but it can be a costly issue too. Although you can never fully predict when this may happen, performing regular checks on your vehicle will certainly help to minimise the risks.
Start by checking the levels of vital fluids, such as oil, coolant and screen wash - running your vehicle on low or empty may cause it to overheat and create costly problems. It’s worth checking your vehicle battery too as the hot weather can affect performance. We’d recommend you invest in a multimeter to check the charge levels of your battery.
Reduce the risk of punctures
Many of us dread getting a puncture and whilst it can’t be helped if you drive over a sharp object, regularly checking your tyres is certainly a good idea. Raised temperatures increase the risk of a puncture, so make sure your vehicle’s tyres don’t over inflate under pressure. Check the manufacturer’s guide to ensure they meet the standard PSI. We’d recommend keeping the tyres slightly under inflated in very hot weather to allow for pressure increase.
Have you heard of the tyre tread 20p test? By law in the UK, your vehicle’s tyres need to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Worn tyres are not only illegal, but increase your risk of skidding while driving too. For a quick and easy check, insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves of each tyre. If you can’t see the outer band of the coin, the likelihood is that your tyres are within the legal limit.
Keep your air-con in tip top condition
What would we do without air conditioning in our vehicles during hot and sunny spells? Make sure your air conditioning system is up to scratch and ready to tackle raised temperatures in the cabin.
Many motorists don’t realise that their vehicle’s air conditioning unit will lose up to 10% of its refrigerant gas year-on-year, which will weaken its performance. We recommend you have your vehicle’s air-conditioning serviced and regassed every two to three years to keep it in peak performance.
Shade your eyes from the sun
As a general rule of thumb, you should always wear sunglasses while driving when it’s sunny. The sun can really impact your vision of the road, especially during sunrise and sunset when the position of the sun shines directly through a driver’s window.
Data from the Department for Transport demonstrates that over 2,000 collisions on the road are due to the sun distracting drivers, so it really does pay to keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your vehicle.
Protect yourself from sunburn
Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘trucker’s arm’? This is a term associated with truck drivers who tend to hang their right arm out of the window to help cool down on long drives during hot sunny days.
You may be surprised to hear that the sun’s UV rays can actually penetrate the windows of your vehicle and put you at risk of sunburn too. If you have bare arms while driving, then make an effort to apply sunscreen before your journey.
Don’t smoke and drive
If you’re a smoker, going without during longer journeys can be a big ask, but how do you dispose of your cigarette? Chucking it out of the window is a no-go in hot and sunny weather. Prolonged periods of heat can cause grass verges to dry out, which means your cigarette butt can cause a hazardous roadside fire.
To avoid the temptation while driving, why not chew nicotine gum instead and save the smoking until you’ve arrived at your destination or can stop and dispose of your cigarette safely on route.
Vehicle hire for the Summer holidays at Rent Direct
If you’re looking to hire a vehicle for the summer holidays, then here at Rent Direct, we can help. Whether you need a hire car, hire van or hire MPV for your travels, then we offer a wide range of makes and models at competitive prices.
Are you planning a weekend getaway? Have you planned a week-long holiday? Or maybe you're heading off on a month-long road trip? Whatever your summer holiday plans, you can rely on Rent Direct to lend a helping hand.
We have six vehicle hire branches in various locations across East Anglia - including Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ipswich, King's Lynn, Spalding and Huntingdon - so we hope to be in reaching distance when it comes to convenient vehicle hire for you.
Our vehicle hire process is simple and straightforward so that you can focus on getting into the holiday spirit instead. Take a look at our current fleet of vehicles and take the first step to putting your feet up for a well-deserved vacation.