As I’m sure everyone in the UK is well aware by now, it’s very hot. Yes, we've had patches of rain, but so far 2018 has been a summer to remember.

traffic jam

Cruel Summer

Although most of us have been praying for a summer like this for some time now, as Bananarama were no doubt pointing out, it can cause problems when travelling. So we’ve compiled a list of tips and things to watch out for to help keep you safe and your car in optimum condition while the sun continues to shine.

Service is everything

The first thing you should do before long journeys in this warm weather is make sure your car’s service record is up to date. The last thing you want is to breakdown halfway through your journey. A service will make sure your car is in good shape and ready for the journey ahead. However, if all else fails, breakdown cover is a necessity.

Take sun cream

Just because you are in your car it does not mean you’re immune from sunburn. If you have a convertible or stick your right arm out the window (which can result in one arm red, the other pasty white!) then you’re going to need to apply sun cream. Preferably before you start driving!

Road to nowhere

With everyone off on their summer holidays and staycations being more appealing in the sun, the roads are likely to be very busy. However if you plan your route in advance and use an up to date Sat Nav (or Google) then you should be able to avoid crawling along busy roads wishing you could just get to the beach. With fuel at its highest price in 4 years this could prove to be a costly mistake!

Stay hydrated

Cars parked in the sun can reach internal temperatures of up to 60°C; even driving with the windows down or air con on it can still get very hot. These kinds of temperatures can lead to dehydration which will slow down reaction times. So make sure you keep plenty of water in the car for your journey(s) including enough for children and pets that may be travelling with you.

Engine trouble

Driving in warm weather can put a lot of stress on your car’s engine. To ensure it runs smoothly throughout your trip keep checking the various fluid levels – your owner’s manual should point you to the relevant places. Also, keep an eye on your engine temperature as it can quickly overheat in the summer. This would, no doubt, put a dampener on the start of the family holiday.

Extreme road conditions

If you remember the summer of ’76 you’ll know that an exceptionally hot summer can cause the tarmac on road surfaces to melt.

Melted tarmac can be very slippery and poses a real danger if you are going at speed or do not notice it. It can also throw tar splashes onto your paintwork, which although is not the end of the world, is not ideal.

Extreme weather always hits fleets hard, due simply to the number of hours the vehicles spend on the road, but frayed tempers due to heat and summer holiday traffic doesn’t help. If the worst should happen and a fleet vehicle is off the road, our Fleet Accident Management service will control costs, minimise downtime and look after the interests of your driver.

And finally, as Billy Idol once warbled, ‘Don’t be no fun, don’t forget you’re young, on a hot summer night’. Enjoy the summer and drive safely!

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