Each summer so many people around the world get excited about their summer holidays. Whether you’re going abroad or going on a staycation, driving during the warm summer months presents its own challenges, which can sometimes cause trouble on the trip. Here is a little summer travelling advice for travellers to keep in mind if you are to be travelling by car.
Check the vehicle’s tyres and fluid levels
In the summer, drivers who use winter tyres on their vehicles should always change them for all-season tyres to avoid rapid wear and make them last for another winter. Winter tyres can be very expensive, so you want them to last as long as possible. Monitoring the vehicle’s tyre pressure is also very important, since low inflation can reduce fuel economy and contribute to blow out related accidents. Tyre pressure instructions can usually be found on one of the vehicle’s front doors or in the owner’s manual.
In warm weather, most engine oil tends to thin out, which may prevent it from properly lubricating the engine. To avoid any problems the oil should be checked and if necessary changed before setting off on a long hot journey. Other items that should be checked include brake fluid levels and windscreen washer fluid. If you’re buying a new car, always make sure you get one from a decent place if you are buying a used car.
Inspect your vehicle
Along with the fluids and tyres, the rest of the vehicle should also be checked over. Take the car to an experienced mechanic, who can inspect the belts and hoses, before the trip. The windscreen wiper blades should also be checked, since they may have become worn over the winter. On hot days, some car batteries fail, especially if they are older, so it may be wise to replace it before going on holiday.
Bring essential travel items
You should always keep an emergency travel kit in the boot at all times, but especially when taking a holiday. You never know when you’re going to need it and it can be a lifesaver. The kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools and flares, along with non-perishable food and water. It is also sensible to include a cooler with light snacks and liquids for the trip. Coolers can always be replenished with additional items along the way. When I’ve been in a car accident, I found that a foil blanket was a big help for me as I was absolutely freezing sat in the back of the car.
Overloading the vehicle can cause issues with tyre pressure, fuel economy and safety. If items are piled too high inside the car, they can block the driver’s vision, so it is important to pack only the necessary items and do so as efficiently as possible. I always end up packing way too much, no matter where I’m going. I’ve been trying to use smaller bags and suitcases when I go away now as this stops me from overpacking.
Watch out for tired driving
Driving while fatigued is a major cause of accidents on motorways. You should always stop for a break when doing a long drive to ensure you don’t get tired.
Be careful when towing
Vehicles that are towing boats, caravans or trailers should be driven more slowly than they would under normal circumstances. Sudden lane changes, sharp braking and rapid deceleration that may put pressure on the engine, should also be avoided.