Drivers urged to take care as mini heatwave hits the UK

Drivers urged to take care as mini heatwave hits the UK 29th June 2015

Summer is here, or so it seems, in the UK, with the sun finally coming out and Wimbledon set to kick off for another exciting tournament. However, drivers are being warned to make sure their cars are in a fit state to tackle the roads as a mini heatwave grips the country. 

Over the weekend, revellers at Glastonbury have been feeling the warmth and steering clear of the mud for once as temperatures hit the mid-20s. However, it's this week as the world's top tennis stars take to the courts at SW1 that we should see the best of summer. 

The temperatures look set to top 30C according to the Met Office. For those driving, whether to the Championships at Wimbledon or elsewhere, this will mean taking care on the road. It's easy, of course, to make sure you are safe when weather conditions are adverse, but many forget that great weather can make driving difficult as well. 

Be aware

Hot conditions can make the road as treacherous as high winds and heavy rain, albeit in different ways. When the sun is beating down, the surface of the road can become softer, which can make handling more difficult. Meanwhile, the strong sun can be dazzling to drivers, so remember to pack some sunglasses, and it can also make the car very warm, which can make you feel drowsy. If possible, have a window open or use air conditioning to moderate the temperature inside the car. 

As well as being aware of how the temperature can affect your driving, the RAC advises that drivers carry out a few quick checks before they leave home. 

Check your car

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams recently said: "Aside from overheating, our patrols tend to fix all sorts of other issues when temperatures peak – including problems with convertible roofs, air conditioning units and seized up bonnet catches. 

"Some of these suggest motorists aren't checking their vehicles all that often, so the message is do a bit of simple maintenance this weekend to lessen the chances of a breakdown in the heat next week."

Drivers should also make sure to check their car over before they head off, but there are a few things to check that will be more crucial than others. 

One thing we often forget is to make sure our window wipers are in good condition. This may seem like something of an obscure check to need to make in summer, but remember a dry road can really kick up dust and dirt and make it hard to see. 

Always check that you have enough windscreen washer fluid in your car before you leave, and make sure that your wiper blades are in good health. If they appear to be torn or are wearing down, have new wiper blades fitted before you drive anywhere in summer. 

In addition to this, it's advisable that you check your air conditioning so you don't overheat when driving, as well as tyre pressure, which can change drastically when the weather goes through a real change. 

And remember, it's always best to plan your journey. If you're going long distances, set out a route in advance and know where you can stop if you get tired or need a break from the road. 

Posted by Danielle Barge