Driving in hot weather conditions can pose significant challenges and risks to the health and safety of drivers, passengers and passers-by alike.
Irish hot weather is not often here, but when it is, it’s important to be aware of the temperature changes to stay safe when driving, and prepared for hitting the road during our short-lived periods of glorious summer sun.
So here is A New Driver’s list of summer driving safety tips to help you stay safe and cool on the Irish roads (and abroad!) this summer, while driving in hot weather conditions.
Avoid sun glare
Impaired vision from the sun is a common cause of accidents during the summer. Replace worn windscreen wipers to help keep your windscreen clean, and use sunglasses and overhead sun visors to help block out the sun from your eyes.
Check you tyres
Tyres can blowouts easier in hotter weather. According to the AA, tyres with existing damage that are under inflated will become even more aggravated in higher temperatures, which increases the chances of blowouts and punctures. It’s extremely important to keep your tyre pressure at the optimum level for summer driving.
Prepare for weather changes
We always pay the price for little good weather we get in Ireland. Be prepared to adapt your driving style in the event of any sudden changes in the weather conditions, as driving through summer storms comes with a different set of challenges, such as wind gusts and hailstones.
We often underestimate the importance of staying hydrated at all times, but specially during the summer. It’s extremely important to keep hydrated when stuck in a long traffic jam under the sun. Take plenty of cold water with you before heading out on longer journeys, and also enough for you and all the passengers in the car with you.
Top your car up
Car engines get extremely hot in warm weather, especially in standstill traffic. Ensure your coolant is always topped up and turn off your engine during traffic, which will also help save fuel. Windscreens also get very dirty in dry weather and marks can amplify sun glare. Plenty of windscreen washer fluid will help you maintain a clear view in the sun.
Park in the shade
It’s not possible to park in the shade at all times, but when you can, please do so. Give yourself the best chance of a relaxing drive by not getting into an already baking hot car: park in the shade, open your doors and windows, run your air conditioning for a few minutes before setting off, so your car can be cool or it can cool down and avoid getting worked up by the heat before a journey.
Be aware of hay-fever
Hay-fever is a condition which can be very problematic when driving. Many Irish people suffer from allergies during the summer, so be aware of what of the issues this can cause while driving. Sneezing behind the wheel of a car going at 100km/per hour can be a dangerous thing to do if it’s happening non-stop. Allergy tablets can also cause blurred vision and drowsiness, which would evidently impair a person’s ability to drive. It’s always important to check the labels of any medication before taking them, especially if you’re planning on driving afterwards.