Driving in summer is quite unlike driving in winter; there are very different hazards. Many collisions are caused by the glare on windscreens caused by the sun, particularly at dawn or dusk. It’s important to clean your windscreen regularly both inside and out and remember to keep a pair of sunglasses handy.
Although rain isn’t expected to be a problem, dirt, grime and occasionally dead bugs can obstruct your view so make sure there is plenty of water for your washers and apply screen washing fluid if possible.
Window wipers last about a year so replace your wipers if necessary, both front and back.
When roads get hot tyres suffer; heat aggravates any existing problems with the rubber. Under-inflation causes friction and even more heat which will have an effect on any weak spots and causes punctures and blow-outs. Before setting off on any long journey this weekend, check your tyre pressure and tread depth.
“About 14% of all AA Rescue call-outs are to motorists with a flat tyre.” reports Arwen Foley spokesperson for The AA. “If you attempt to change it yourself be very careful where you pull over. Make sure you are well away from on-coming traffic as you may not be visible if crouched down beside your wheel.
If you are an AA Member don’t be afraid to call us, that’s what we’re here for.”
The sunshine always brings hoards of people to the beach and seaside towns and villages are likely to experience huge congestion. In June, a week of warm weather brought the sun worshippers in droves to the beach.
There were delays of over 2 hours on approach routes to Silver Strand in Co Wicklow and motorists heading to Howth in Dublin found themselves stuck in traffic that was so heavy they abandoned their vehicles, obstructing traffic further.
It’s very important to bear in mind that children get very excited on trips to the beach and have been known to run out in front of cars so slow down and keep an eye out.
The beach brings other hazards though. Burying your friend in the sand can be great fun until you realise you’ve also buried your keys, never to be found again.
If you’re getting into the sea to cool down, make sure your keys aren’t in your pocket, as water can kill the remote control function and leave you unable to get into your car.
If you, like many others are taking to the roads this weekend for a staycation, it is important to plan your journey. Traffic delays on a Friday start earlier than any other day of the week, particularly when it’s sunny.
Typical delays begin at about 1pm and continue into the usual rush hour. Driving long journeys can also leave you fatigued.
Remember to keep hydrated but avoid any heavy meals to prevent drowsiness. While fresh air and the radio can keep you alert for a short time, for longer journeys, it’s best to take a break and get out and walk around.
“Driving whilst tired is extremely dangerous” says Arwen. Many people will drive back on Sunday after a hectic weekend without realising how tired they are. It’s best not to fight fatigue, pull over somewhere safe and take a short nap or get 2 cups of strong coffee into you.”