Whether you’re escaping to the coast for some sun, sea and sand or heading to the park for a picnic, driving in hot weather can be potentially risky business. Aside from making sure you have adequate car insurance, here are the top tips from Allianz Your Cover for staying safe as the mercury rises.
You need to look after yourself in order to look after your vehicle. Concentration levels fall dramatically when you are overheated, so when driving in the sun, make sure you are well hydrated and have the right factor sun cream for your skin.
Your vision is your greatest ally in driving safely, so in bright conditions a good pair of UV protective sunglasses will help you to stay focused on the road, whilst at the same time preventing any long term eye damage.
Make sure your air conditioning or fan works properly so you can keep cool and calm in the car. Also, check the level and strength of the coolant in your radiator. Low levels may cause your engine to overheat, so before you set off ensure you fill it to the appropriate level to keep your car – and its occupants – from overheating on the road.
Pump it up
Your tyres should be checked regularly for wear, tear, cracks and damage but in hot weather it is especially important to check they are inflated to the correct pressure. Under-inflated tyres can cause excessive friction resulting in increased heat, sometimes even causing them to burst.
Conversely, even slightly over-inflated tyres can be dangerous: air expands with heat so the hot weather could exacerbate the problem. Get the levels right for all tyres, including the spare, before you set off.
Stay fully charged
Cold weather is commonly regarded as a car battery’s worst enemy, but hot weather is almost as harmful. If you have a serviceable wet cell battery, make sure the fluids and electrolytes are topped up to the proper levels. For maintenance free wet cell batteries or sealed batteries, check them over for any leaks or cracks and evidence of corrosion before you head out in the heat.
Be prepared for the worst
Sometimes, despite all our best efforts, things go wrong; so make sure you are prepared for all eventualities in the hot weather.
Having breakdown cover included in your car insurance as well as a well-stocked emergency kit in the car is essential. Items to consider including are: water, non-perishable food, jump leads, a torch and a first aid kit. Also, before you leave, charge your mobile phone and make sure you have cash in your wallet for emergencies. Once you’ve ticked all these points off your list, you’re ready to hit the road.