Heat wave warning for drivers in the south

Heat wave warning for drivers in the south 16th April 2015

It seems like only yesterday that the UK was facing chilly conditions and warnings of icy roads up and down the country, but the tides have turned and we're now witnessing far better conditions. For most of this week, the sun has been out in the south, and the favourable weather is expected to continue into the weekend. 

For some places in the south of England, the Met Office has predicted that we will see temperatures of up 25C, which would see it hotter than the likes of France and Spain. For many of Britain's drivers, this will present a chance to get out and do something. But do you know the dangers of driving in summer weather? It might not be as obviously danger as winter, but that doesn't mean summer doesn't present its own challenges. 

Tyres

Hotter temperatures can play havoc with the compound make up of the tyre, and while this is mostly harmless, if there are any issues such as cracks in the tyre, it can exacerbate these and lead to punctures. The best course of action is to check them before you set off and ensure you have new tyres fitted if you need them. 

Window wipers

Again, not something drivers might automatically think of, but making sure your wipers are in perfect condition before you hit the road in summer is vital. It may not rain this weekend, but in dry conditions, other cars kick up dust and dirt, and visibility can be seriously reduced. Make sure you top up your windscreen washer fluid and check wiper blades before setting off. 

Fatigue

When the sun is beating down, it may well feel like a glorious day, but if you're in the car, it can become very hot quickly, and this can cause problems with fatigue. You can quickly become very tired when the weather is warm. To mitigate against this, you should always factor breaks into your journey. For every three hours you're driving, make sure you stop for 20 minutes. And remember, frequent short breaks will help keep you fresh throughout the drive. 

Road surface

It might come as a surprise to many people, but when the weather gets really hot, the road surface can start to melt a little. This adds problems for drivers, because it makes handling that little bit more challenging. Make sure you keep your hands on the wheel and take care when steering. 

Glare

When the sun's out, be careful not to get dazzled. It can sound pretty obvious, but all it takes is for the sun to catch a road sign, a passing car or any reflective surface and you could be momentarily blinded. If it's bright this weekend, always keep sunglasses handy to make sure you remain safe throughout your journey. 

Posted by Danielle Barge