We all know how busy the roads get during the summer months, the sun comes out and so do the extra vehicles on the road. Day trips to the beach, caravans heading away for the weekend, classic cars come out of their winter storage, it all takes its toll on the UK roads. The last thing anyone wants during these busy times is breakdowns and accidents, so here at Central Self Drive, we have been looking at some Driving Tips that can we do to prepare you for the summer months.
Driving Tips for the Vehicle
Regularly check the condition of all your tyres, including the spare, for correct pressure and tyre tread. The extra heat on the roads during the summer months can make your tyres weaker and more prone to blowouts! If you are using a vehicle which has been in storage over the winter months or towing a caravan which has not been used for a while be sure to check for any cracking in the sidewalls. Here at Central, all our hire cars and vans tyres are checked before every rental but if you are taking a contract or long-term hire you need to check the tyres regularly.
Visibility is important in any weather but with the usual summer bugs and flies ending their lives on your windscreen and the dust off dry roads, you may find yourselves using your windscreen washers more frequently. Ensure your screen wash is topped up regularly. Also, it is vital to ensure your wiper blades are doing the job of clearing your windscreen. If they are marking your windscreen or not clearing away dirt and water it may be time to change your wiper blades. You will find all windscreen wash reservoirs full when you take a Central Self Drive vehicle but if you use them frequently it may need to top them up during your hire period.
It is vital to keep your windscreen clean inside and out. Smears on either side of the glass can be intensified by the suns glare, obscuring your vision. You don’t need to deal with this driving tip, because all of our hire vehicles are cleaned to a high standard before hire.
Wash your car regularly to remove sand and dirt, this will help prevent rust in future years as well as helping to keep all your windows clear, for a safer journey.
Check for corrosion on the battery terminals, if any is visible, remove and check again regularly. If the corrosion reappears this could be a sign of a serious issue and should be checked a mechanic.
Check your engine coolant reservoir regularly. Make sure the reservoir has no visible damage and that your coolant levels are correct, the last thing you need is your car overheating in a traffic jam.
Driving Tips for Yourself
We all see the motorway signs ‘TIRDNESS KILLS – TAKE A BREAK’ it’s true! And the heat and stuffiness from long journeys make the fatigue worse. If you find yourself feeling tired during a long journey, turn the music up, put the AC on full (the majority of Central Self Drive vehicles are now sourced with AC as standard) or open windows, sit up straight and head to the nearest safe place to stop. Once you are able to stop a 20-minute nap can restore your system, frequent short stops (of at least 20 minutes) are better than one long stop. Have something light to eat and 2 cups of strong coffee work wonders.
Another essential driving tip for this summer is Hayfever for many UK drivers and if you sneeze at 70mph you lose your vision for up to 100meters! Please see our blog BE ALLERGY AWARE WHILE DRIVING! for more advice on easing allergies in the car. If you are having a particularly bad hayfever day then you should get someone else to drive the vehicle, you can add another named driver on booking your hire vehicle at Central. Remember to take non-drowsiness medication to ease hayfever before you drive and wear sunglasses to block out the bright sun. Keep tissues to hand in your vehicle and if you feel you’re about to sneeze, slow down and leave a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front.
We have all been there, blinded by the sun, either low in the sky at dusk or dawn or reflecting off the car in front or even reflecting in your rearview mirror. Sunglasses are an important item to carry in your car all year but more so during the summer.
Remember a lot of summer shoes are not suitable for driving! Maybe keep a pair of driving shoes in the vehicle or take a spare pair with you. A study recently found that 33% of us admitted to driving in flip flops and 1 in 10 admitted that they had got a flip-flop stuck behind a peddle. In a simulator, deceleration was up to 0.13 seconds slower – the equivalent of travelling a further 3.5m at 60mph and moving the foot between the accelerator and brake peddle took up to 0.02 seconds longer in flip-flops than heels!
Central Self Drive has a wide range of vehicles and many include AC as standard (like are brand new Mondeo’s) to keep you cool this summer. Many vehicles also have built in Sat Nav’s, which are able to help you find a different route if you’re stuck in traffic. Central Self Drive, providing you with smart driving tips to keep you going this summer!