July 26, 2019
If you had to choose between driving on a warm, sunny day in the summer, or on a freezing cold, grey day in winter, which would you go for? You’re probably with the majority if you would choose to take the car out for a spin in the summer months.
You might be surprised to learn that in some years, road traffic accident statistics reveal that there are more accidents causing personal injury in the summer months, than there are in the winter months. In an annual Department of Transport report on road traffic accidents in the UK in 2014, reference was made to a study on road accidents in Germany during the same year;
“One of the main reasons for the increase of casualties in road traffic in Germany in 2014 was the weather conditions: the winter was mild and the spring was dry and warm. This led to more people riding a motorcycle, walking and cycling and therefore, sadly, more of them being killed and injured in road collisions.”
The summer months can lure road users into a false sense of security. As rain, wet roads, ice and snow, are not factors during long, dry spells of summer, it can perhaps lead us to drop our guards a little, when we get behind the wheel. Here are our suggestions for ensuring that both you and the other road users that you encounter on your summer travels, stay safe on the road:
Our tips for safe summer driving
- Don’t set off in a hot car. If your vehicle has been out in the sun, don’t just jump in and set off. Get the air conditioning running before you start to drive. Hot conditions can cause both you and your car to get overheated quickly. Air conditioning takes moisture out of the air too. Ensure you’ve got plenty of bottled water in your vehicle to re-hydrate yourself.
- Windscreens get dirty in dry weather and if the screen becomes marked the sun can become a real hazard on your visibility. Make sure that your washer fluid is topped up every time you set off. The amount of fluid that we spray on our windscreens in hot dry weather, will soon empty the washer reservoir.
- Check your tyres. In winter, some drivers use seasonal tyres. If that’s the case, makes sure you change to all season tyres in the summer. It’s important that your tyres are inflated to the right pressure, as under inflated tyres can lead to blowouts. This occurs in hot weather due to a combination of underinflation and the heat of the road.
- Drive with sunglasses. Not only do they make you look cool, they ensure that the glare of the sun doesn’t become a major visibility problem.
- Road congestion increases in the summer. Every road user wants to take advantage of the fine weather. It’s important to be aware of this and to be extra vigilant to the presence of cyclists and motorbikes. Give both a wide berth when overtaking them, at least 1.5 metres, and in the case of motorbikes, watch out for them overtaking queues of stationary vehicles in the customary summer traffic jams. Make sure you aren’t the cause of a motorbike accident or a cycling accident!
- Hay fever. For some of us, the pleasures of summer can be offset by the misery of hay fever. As drivers, having a sneezing attack whilst at the wheel can not only be irritating, it can be dangerous and cause a momentary lapse of concentration or distraction. That could just be enough time for you to lose control of your vehicle and to be the cause of an accident. Ensure that if you do suffer from hay fever that you have taken your medication before setting off. However, be aware that some hay fever tablets can cause drowsiness, so check whether your medication has any side effects. If it does, buy some tablets that are safe to take when you are going to be taking a road trip.
- We live in the UK. Even during hot, dry spells, rain is never that far away. When the heavens do open after a period of fine weather, the rain can come down in bucketloads. Heavy rain and very dry roads are not a great mix for driving on. Be prepared.
Enjoy your summer driving and stay safe
Whilst you can do everything in your power to avoid being involved in an accident, what you can’t account for is the driving of others. Should you be unfortunate enough to be the victim of a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, call the author of this blog, Imran Hussain at Spencers Solicitors, on 08000 93 00 94 for a totally obligation free chat. Imran will be able to advise you on your prospects of making a successful car accident compensation claim and answer any questions that you may have. This initial telephone consultation will be entirely free. If you decide that you would like us to take on your claim, in most cases, we'll be able to do this for you by means of a No Win, No Fee personal injury claim. Call Spencers now or enquire online if you prefer to contact us via our website contact form.