HandiWorld’s Guide to Surviving Long Summer DrivesEllie Pool
We all have a go-to checklist of things to remember before going on a long drive in the winter months. There are things we all pack in the car and checks we do to our vehicle before heading on a drive in winter weather but we don’t seem to do the same for long drives during the summer but here at HandiWorld, we think you should.
We’re going to be sharing with you our guide to preparing yourself for a long summer drive, so carry on reading to find out our top tips for having the best road trip possible in the warm weather:
Keep Plenty of Drinking Water Onboard
When it comes to winter drives, we usually advise keeping flasks with warm drinks in your car in case you get stuck somewhere with no access to food or drink and the same situation could arise on a summer drive but when the weather is warm, you don’t want to be without drinking water.
You’d be surprised how quickly you can become dehydrated when the sun is beating down and the inside of your car can get even hotter than the outside, so whether you get stuck in heavy motorway traffic, breakdown in the middle of nowhere or just have a long journey before there’s anywhere to stop, you don’t want to be without drinking water, so make sure you have plenty on board.
Have Wet Wipes or Cold Flannels in the Car
Cars are notorious for being very warm places when the sun is out and it can feel impossible to get cool when you’re stuck inside one and the last thing you want when you’re driving is to overheat, so make sure you’ve got cold flannels or wet wipes within reach to keep yourself cool.
A top tip is to bring a cool box with ice packs and keep wet flannels or packs of baby wipes in there to keep them really cold, so when you need an instant refresh or a quick cool down, they’ll do the trick perfectly.
Give Your Windscreen a Really Good Clean Before Heading Off
We’ve all experienced the moment where the sun shines and you can’t see through the windscreen properly for marks and streaks, so make sure you give your windscreen a proper clean before heading off on your trip to avoid the glare of the sun on your dirty windscreen distorting your view of the road.
It is possible to top up keeping your windscreen clean as you go by spraying some washer fluid and using your wipers but this isn’t ideal when the sun is beating down, so make sure it’s free of streaks in advance.
Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses
Continuing with the theme of minimising the effects of the suns’ glare, you don’t want to forget your sunglasses on a summer road trip in the same way you don’t want to be without your hat and gloves on a snowy drive.
Trying to drive through dazzling sun without sunglasses is a real recipe for disaster. Not only is it near impossible during the height of summer, it can lead to you having to squint and therefore not having a full view of the road or can leave you with a headache in which case you may not be able to continue driving.
Be Sure to Take Care of Hay Fever Before You Set Off
You might have never thought that your hay fever could affect your driving but according to an article by the RAC, a survey found that 27% of UK drivers suffer from symptoms of hay fever and one in three of those people admit that it does distract them when driving.
Whether you get the itchy eyes, runny nose or sore head, be sure to get a grip on your hay fever before you leave the house to ensure nothing is taking your attention away from the road when you’re driving. There’s plenty of medication on the market to relieve the ailments of hay fever, just be sure to pick a non-drowsy option.
Check All the Levels Under the Bonnet
As you would before any long car journey, make sure you take a look under the bonnet to ensure all the fluids and oils are up to the level they should be, so this includes your window washer fluid, engine oil and radiator coolant.
You don’t want to run low on any of these things on any journey and when the sun is shining and the car is hot, it is likely that these fluids may disappear quicker than usual.
It’s also worth being aware that your engine is more prone to overheating in the warm weather, so keep an eye out for the signs that your engine is getting too hot. If your car is showing signs of overheating, Reader’s Digest recommends you pull over to a safe place as soon as possible and wait for at least half an hour before opening your bonnet and checking out what’s going on. You might need more engine coolant fluid or if there’s something more serious going on, it may be time to call in some professional help.
Don’t Overfill the Car
Body’s produce heat, so the more people in the car, the hotter it is likely to get, so you don’t want to cram lots of bags and suitcases into the car too as this will only reduce the airflow and make the vehicle hot and stuffy.
Move as much of your luggage as possible into an external storage space such as one of our soft roof boxes that have capacities of up to 400 litres to take as much of your luggage as you need it to.
By not overfilling the car, the air conditioning can flow freely and everyone can have more space to sit and keep themselves cool.
Our overall top tip for driving in warm weather would be to take it at your own pace and take regular breaks to allow yourself and the car to cool down.
We hope you’ve found this helpful if you’re planning a summer road trip and want to ensure it is a safe and successful one.
Have you got any top tips for driving in the summer? Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!