The AA is warning motorists of the dangers of driving in Summer.
The glare from the sun has been known to cause collisions, particularly under clear skies at dawn or dusk.
“The worst spot for glare that we’ve noticed is around Junction 12 Firhouse on the M50, there are often collisions there” says Arwen Foley Editor of AA Roadwatch. “It’s a problem in many areas though, it can be particularly dangerous when you’re driving at speed and all of a sudden you’re blinded by the sun.”
The best way to protect yourself against the sun’s glare is to make sure the windscreen is clean, both inside and out and remove smears, which will catch sunlight and impair vision. Don’t forget, windscreen wipers only last about a year so it might be time to change them. A pair of unscratched sunglasses are handy as well.
The heat can cause all sorts of problems under the bonnet too. “Some of the most common call-outs our patrols receive during hot weather are to vehicles with low coolant levels, leaking hoses or broken electric cooling fans” says Arwen.
“The problem is that any of these issues can make the car overheat and this can lead to expensive damage.”
The best way to avoid a breakdown during a heatwave is to keep an eye on your temperature gauge and top up your coolant fluid regularly. It might also be time to get your car serviced. Remember a car service is just as important during the summer months as it is in winter.
High temperatures can aggravate any existing damage to the rubber in your tyre. It’s very important to check the condition of your tyres and regularly make the trip to the fuel station to check the tyre pressure. Under-inflation causes friction and the more heat made the more it will affect weak spots in your tyre.
At the beach
“Coastal roads are likely to be very busy as people flock to the beach to make the best of the lovely weather” advises Arwen. If you are going to the beach it’s important to take care of your belongings. It’s very easy to lose your car keys in the sand and every year the AA Rescue Centre receive calls from people who have gone into the sea with their key fob in their pocket, only to realise that remote control access to their car doesn’t work when it’s time to go home.
We’re not the only ones who suffer in extreme heat, our four-legged friends feel it just as much, if not more than us. Never leave your dog in a car during hot weather, even if it feels cool outside. As soon as the engine is turned off and the cool air is not being pumped into the vehicle, it can get extremely hot. If you do have to bring your dog with you, try to avoid the long journeys and hottest time of day, make sure you have plenty of water and consider using a car sunblind to provide shade.
AA Roadwatch staff and Rescue Patrols will be working hard over the next few days to keep all motorists safe on the roads.