As the summer finally approaches, most of us are less inclined to drive to our destination and will instead opt to take a stroll enjoying the warmer weather. However, unfortunately, if you work far from home or are planning a road trip to the beach, walking becomes unrealistic, and you have no other choice but to face the roads.
Whether you are an experienced driver or are taking lessons, you must always make yourself aware of how to stay safe in your vehicle during the warmer months, start by taking a read through our summer driving tips!
Top 4 Summer Driving Tips
Although there are significantly fewer dangers compared to driving in icy or wet conditions, driving during the summer when the sun is at its full intensity can also introduce some new risks. Unlike most other adverse weather conditions, many of the potential hazards regarding the sun can be avoided, keep reading to find out how!
This may sound obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many drivers complain about the sun, yet fail to pack a spare pair on sunglasses for their journey. The sun frequently comes out at irregular times that you cannot anticipate such as first thing in the morning and after a storm, so it is always recommended to keep a spare pair of sunnies in your glove compartment just in case the glare becomes too much.
If you know that you are a little shorter and your sun visor doesn’t block the sun as much as you’d hoped, then it is even more of a reason to ensure that you always have a pair of sunglasses handy during your journey. Your chosen pair doesn’t have to be expensive or meeting the latest trend; you’re unlikely to wear them other than while driving. However, if you have prescription glasses that you must legally wear at all times while driving, you must ensure that your sunglasses are also suited to your required prescription to avoid extensive visibility issues.
Not only does a build up of dirt and dust on your windscreen ruin the aesthetics of your prized possession, but it also dramatically raises glare intensity. One of the most significant issues regarding driving in the sun is the intense glare that both damages your eyes and reduces visibility, making it incredibly tricky to see your surroundings and what is in front of you. As the sun hits a dirty windscreen, it reflects the dust and makes it look as if you have a blurry film covering your sight.
It is understandable that you may not always have the time to clean your car entirely as soon as it starts to appear dirty, especially if you are in a rush, but carrying out a few basic maintenance tips should avoid dirt becoming a real issue. Always ensure that you top up your wiper fluid as soon as you notice it running low and check that your wipers are in excellent condition, so they can wipe the windscreen clean rather than smear the dirt. Being able to spray some cleaner and wipe it away immediately to reveal a clean windscreen is perfect if you are mid-journey and a glare starts to become an issue. Never substitute wiper fluid for water as you run the risk of clogging your reservoir with ice if the temperature drops and the water freezes.
Sometimes dirt simply cannot be budged through your wipers alone, which means you may want to ditch the idea and instead opt for some old-fashioned elbow grease. All you need is some good quality glass cleaner, and a soft brush and the dirt will be rinsed away in no time. Take a look at this Auto Express article for the best car glass cleaners of this year!
We’re all guilty of leaving unneeded objects and old rubbish in our cars until we finally get fed up with looking at it and decide to have a clear out. Although there isn’t necessarily anything seriously wrong with having a messy car, a build-up of clutter on your dashboard can cause future problems on sunnier days.
Anything white or light in colour reflects the sun, which is one of the main reasons why people opt for wearing white to keep them cool in the Summer and avoid black, which attracts and absorbs the sun. If you have a heap of paper on your dashboard, it will reflect the sun, again making the glare increasingly more intense, reducing visibility and making it harder to see ahead.
Increasing your stopping distance until you can clearly see your view ahead is one of the biggest pieces of advice you could be given when it comes to the topic of driving in the sun. We hear so often of accidents happening due to drivers being blinded by the glare of the sun and next thing they know, they have rolled straight into the back of another driver, which means a long line of different issues and claims to deal with.
To take extra safety precautions, we recommend dropping back as far as you need to until you can clearly see exactly what the driver ahead of you is doing. Increase your stopping distance until you can comfortably say that if the driver in front had to emergency brake, you could also react and brake in time without hitting them. Think of the sun the same way concerning stopping distances as you would do so if you were faced with driving in icy or wet conditions.
Increasing your stopping distance when visibility is low is even more important if you are driving in a busy area which involves regular stopping and starting movements. For example, if you are driving in Luton, you are more likely going to be faced with many different road types and busy traffic towards the big airport. Therefore, if you are taking driving lessons in Luton, your instructor will advise you to drop back a little until your surroundings are clear.
A Few Final Top Tips
If driving in the sun is a task you find tricky or the intense glare worries you, then why not consider fitting tinted windows, it will be a long-term solution to the issue.
Lastly, always be aware that dropping down your sun visor does create an additional blind spot, ensure that you consider this and extend your observations skills to suit.