If there is one certainty in life it’s that the great British summer will be unpredictable. As Brits we do rather like it that way, if we knew the weather was going to be stunning all season we wouldn’t have anything to moan about. However, driving during the summer can have its challenges. The conditions can range from dashboard melting heat to torrential rain. On top of that drivers have to content with endless traffic jams, enraged bank holiday drivers and much more.
Keeping your cool both physically and mentally in the summer is important so here are the first set of top tips to keep you moving and sane this summer:
When travelling in the UK during the summer it is highly likely you will face the joyful collection of cars we know as the classic traffic jam. For some they are just annoying, for others they are a fate worse than death. Jams can be even more of a pain for families with young children, though this has changed a lot since the arrival of headrest DVD players, smart phones and handheld consoles. For the people that get stressed the advice is simple; don’t. This is easier said than done but it helps to think about the reality of the situation. It cannot be helped, nothing will make the cars around you go any faster and it is something that just had to be endured. Have a special playlist or CD in the car that is there solely for the purpose of traffic jams, use it to relax. Do the same with food, have a treat that only comes out when you are in a jam. The aim is to try and make the car a nice place to be and take the focus away from the traffic around you.
As most modern cars are equipped with air conditioning the drudgery of long sweaty car journeys are largely a thing of the past. However, forgetting to keep the air conditioning serviced and gassed will make travelling in the summer a very unpleasant experience. Make sure you get your system checked out before things really start hotting up. Heat also plays a rather sticky part in proceedings when you return to your car after it has been parked all day in the sun. Heat levels can actually build to painful and even damaging levels in direct sunlight. Dashboards and binnacles can warp and fade also young legs and arms can be burned on hot plastics. When you return to your car, plan ahead. Send the driver to open up the doors 5 or 10 minutes before the rest of the passengers get in. If you are alone this may mean opening all the doors for at least a couple of minutes before getting in youself. Park in shade where possible, and consider moving the car with the sun to keep it in a cool spot. Use sun shades in the windscreen, they can be very effective. Have a bottle of water and a cloth with you, it may seem silly but wiping surfaces down with even warm water will help get rid of some of the heat.
Heavy rain and heavy insects
During the winter months most people find their screen wash runs out and they tend to keep it topped up as a result. With so much salt and muck flying around this comes as no surprise. Winter is also the time that people think about changing wiper blades because they don’t work well enough. Summer, however, is not a time many people consider these things. At least not until the heavens open and they find they can’t see a thing, or a large insect decides to splat into your windscreen and you try to wipe it off. In a very short space of time you can be in a very dangerous situation, either trying to clear massive amount of rain from the screen or desperately trying to clear a smeared insect out of your eye line with no screen wash. You may not plan on using your wipers in the summer but make sure they work, because you might just need them.
Most people do more driving in the summer, make sure you are prepared.