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SUMMER DRIVING ADVICE

Summer driving conditions are often underestimated - however, with weather that includes sudden downpours and hot temperatures, it is important that you are prepared to face all conditions of the road. From learning to deal with the bipolar weather conditions to summer car safety tips, find all the summer driving advice you need from our helpful guide.

Planning your summer drives

Unfortunately, in the UK summer can often bring heavy rain and flooding. For this reason, it is important that you stay aware of weather forecasts before making journeys in your car..

Before you get going, check local traffic warnings for flood updates and try to avoid flooded areas, places that are prone to flooding and fords during heavy rain.

If the temperatures are soaring, you may also wish to check traffic warnings to make sure that you do not get stuck in your car in heavy traffic on a hot day.


Prepare your vehicle for summer driving

Before long journeys thissummer, you should check that your vehicle is prepared to cope with all conditions. See below summer driving safety tips to effectively prepare your vehicle this season:

Windscreen wipers

We would advise checking your windscreen wipers. If there are cracks or splits visible on your front or rear wipers, or if they no longer make contact with the windscreen or leave streaks when wiping, you should get them replaced. In addition, you should also check your screen wash and refill it if it is not sufficiently full. Sudden and heavy downpours are common during summer, so it is important that your visibility is not impaired.

Engine fluids

You should also check all other engine fluids including your oil, which you can inspect at home using your dipstick and have it topped up if it does not meet the minimum level. Make sure that your engine coolant is also at a sufficient level and top it up if it is not, this is important as the coolant will prevent your engine from overheating.

Check your tyres

Checking your tyres is an important part of vehicle maintenance which should be undertaken at least once a month. However, you should also endeavour to check them before any long journeys during summer.

Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressures and that they are adjusted appropriately if you are carrying a larger load than usual. You can find out about how to check and adjust tyre pressure.

As road surfaces can become wet and slippery during summer, you should also check that your tyres have adequate levels of tread. Tyre tread enables tyres to grip the road, increases your resistance against aquaplaning and provides shorter braking distances. Check your tread depth and consider replacing your tyres if tread is lower than 3mm, as at this point handling and aquaplaning resistance is drastically affected.

In addition, you should visually inspect your tyres for any form of damage, take a look at our helpful guide for advice on what types of tyre damage you should be looking out for. When temperatures are hot, damaged tyres can be aggravated by the surface of the road and develop into larger problems. For this reason, you should visit a tyre specialist if you notice any damage, no matter how small it seems.

If you carry a spare tyre you should also check that it is in roadworthy and useable condition before setting off on any journeys this summer.


How to keep your car cool during summer

An important summer driving tip: keep cool. Most cars today are fitted with air conditioning systems, but it is important that you keep on top of maintenance if you want to ensure it is working efficiently. Air conditioning systems are not checked as part of routine car servicing, so it is important that you get it checked every two years.

Having your air conditioning checked and recharged every two years will keep it in good health, lower your fuel consumption and maximise its efficiency. Find out more about ourair conditioning services today.


Check your tyres

Checking your tyres is an important part of vehicle maintenance which should be undertaken at least once a month, however, you should also endeavour to check them before any long journeys during summer.

Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressures and that they are adjusted appropriately if you are carrying a larger load than usual. You can find out about how to check and adjust tyre pressure here.

As road surfaces can become wet and slippery during summer you should check that your tyres have adequate levels of tread. Tyre tread enables tyres to grip the road and this increases your resistance against aquaplaning and provides short braking distances. Check your tread depth and consider replacing your tyres if tread is lower than 3mm, as at this point handling and aquaplaning resistance is drastically affected.

In addition, you should visually inspect your tyres for any form of damage, take a look at our helpful guide for advice on what types of tyre damage you should be looking out for. When temperatures are hot, damaged tyres can be aggravated by the surface of the road and develop in to larger problems. For this reason, you should visit a tyre specialist if you notice any damage, no matter how small it seems.

If you carry a spare tyre you should also check that it is in roadworthy and useable condition before setting off on any journeys this summer.


What to carry with you on summer drives

Prioritise your summer car safety - Merityre Specialists would recommend carrying the following items for driving in summer conditions:

  • Bottled water – enough to drink and stay hydrated and to use to top up your engine coolant if your engine overheats whilst travelling

  • In-car phone charger – or portable charger or spare mobile phone so that you can contact assistance if needed

  • Sunglasses – to protect your eyes and keep your visibility unimpaired

  • A first aid kit – in case of emergencies


Summer driving in the rain

If it is raining, you should adjust your summer driving style accordingly to stay safe on the road. The surface of the road will become slippery and it is easier for your tyres to lose traction, so you should drive at a slower speed than usual.

It also takes longer for you to slow down when the roads are wet, so you should keep a much larger gap from the vehicle in front than you usually would. This should enable you to stop in time if the car in front suddenly brakes. Take a look at our guide to driving in wet conditions for more advice.

If you require further guidance on summer driving safety, you can contact your local Merityre Specialists for more advice and information.

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