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Hot weather driving advice. 20/05/14


Driving your car in hot weather can sometimes be a chore particularly if it is a long journey. There are however many things you can do before you start out to minimise the stress to yourself and your passengers during hot weather.

In terms of safety, there are also potential hazards that you should be prepared for in these weather conditions.


Prepare for your journey


  • Allow plenty of time for your journey and include time for rest breaks

  • Check traffic reports if you can for any delays on your intended route

  • Engine coolant. Ensure your engines coolant is topped up to ensure your vehicle does not over-heat if you are stuck in traffic. Also carry a large bottle of spare coolant in case you need to top it up during the journey

  • Check that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure

  • Check that your oil is topped up as your oil not only acts as a lubricant, it helps keep your engine cool

  • Take ample quantities of drinking water and food for everyone in your vehicle

  • If you have children in the vehicle, make sure they have things to keep them amused for the journey

  • If you have breakdown cover, ensure you have their number with you!


During your journey


  • It may be necessary to take more rest breaks than normal as hot weather can make you or your passengers irritable

  • Keep your vehicle well ventilated to avoid drowsiness, but bear in mind an air conditioning system could increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%

  • In very hot weather the road surface may become soft and affect your steering

  • Check your engine temperature guage and if it starts to overheat, find a safe place to stop while it cools down

  • If you believe you need to top up your coolant, stop your vehicle in a safe place and wait for at least half an hour before attempting to top it up to avoid being scalded

  • If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and take extra care

  • If you are stuck in a traffic jam, stop your engine as the cooling system relies on air-flow through the radiator to work effectively

  • Ensure you and your passengers drink plenty of water to avoid dehydrating

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