We often think of winter as the time when we should take the greatest care on the roads, with snow, ice and other dangers to contend with. But summer comes with its own reasons to be cautious.
What Causes Summer Breakdowns?
Summer breakdowns are often caused by damaged key fobs, punctures and engines overheating.
Key fobs on the beach are subject to sand and the sea – they can easily get lost or wet. Salt water can damage electric circuits, making your keys unusable, so it’s important to keep them safe and dry.
High temperatures combined with under-inflation can cause damage to your tyres. Friction combined with heat can cause punctures and blow-outs if your tyres are already damaged. Tyre pressures should be appropriate for the weight you are carrying, so they may need to be adjusted before long road trips.
Low coolant levels, leaking hoses and broken fans can all result in overheating, which can be expensive to repair. Coolant levels should be checked regularly, and you can check the fan by running your engine for a few minutes to see if it kicks in. Wet or white stains on coolant hoses are a sign of a leak.
Summer Health Dangers For Drivers
The weather doesn’t just wreak havoc with your vehicle – if you are prone to hayfever you should make sure you are prepared before making long journeys this summer. If you sneeze at 70mph you can lose your vision for as much as 100 metres, so it’s important to keep a good distance between vehicles. Pollen filters, closed windows and regular vacuuming can all ward off the effects of hayfever. Sunglasses, tissues and non-drowsy medication are also a must.
Sun glare can also cause accidents, particularly at dawn or dusk. Sunglasses, clean windscreens and new wipers can all help to combat this.
Finally, the sun brings out more pedestrians, especially children, so take extra care in residential areas. Carnivals and parades may also mean some roads are closed this summer, so check for alternative routes if there are outdoor events taking place in your area.
Mark Bower-Dyke, chairman of Be Wiser Insurance comments:
“With 77.9 billion vehicle miles estimated in July – September 2014, and many people deciding to spend their holidays in the UK rather than abroad, the summer is a busy time for our roads. The hot weather can take its toll on our cars, and with the heavy traffic it’s just as important to keep our vehicles well maintained and stay safe in the summer as it is in the winter months.”