road trip

Road safety over the summer holidays

Heading off on a road trip over the school holidays this summer? In that case, there are a few extra road safety tips to bear in mind to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

Check your car before long journeys

If you’re off on a long journey, check over your car to make sure everything is in good working order, with screenwash and oil topped up. Make sure there’s sufficient engine coolant, and if it needs a top-up, just make sure you use the same colour coolant as the one already in there.

Look at each of your tyres: are there any bulges or cracks? Ensure there’s enough tread left – there should be a minimum depth of 1.6mm, which you can check using the outer band of a 20mm coin. See whether they need blowing up by checking the pressure gauge on a tyre pump against the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual.

Inside the car, ensure the air conditioning is working; if it’s not, you can get this fixed by your local garage. It’s also worth packing a few essentials for your trip, such as bottles of water, sunglasses (prescription ones if you wear glasses) and a first aid kit. Be careful not to over-pack your car with luggage, as this can obscure your view of the road as well as making your car work harder and burn more fuel.

Plan ahead

Before you leave, check your route for the latest traffic information so that you can avoid highly congested routes – nobody wants to sit in traffic for hours, let alone in scorching heat. If you’re driving into Europe, don’t forget to brush up on the road laws for each country you’re planning to visit.

Keep your windscreen clean

With the UK heatwave continuing and the roads dry and dusty, keeping your car windows free of dust is another aspect of summer road safety to bear in mind. Not only are the roads dustier, but there are lots of bugs in the air, which often end up splattered over your windscreen. Bright sunlight through dirty windows can obscure your view of the road, so be sure to keep your screenwash topped up and clean your windscreen regularly.

Be extra vigilant

The good weather brings out more walkers, cyclists, motorbikes and horse riders, and during harvest season, there are more slow-moving farm vehicles on the roads, too. You never know what might be just around the corner, so make sure that you can always stop in the distance you can see clear. That means taking corners more slowly and looking further ahead to spot potential hazards.

Following these tips is a great way to reduce the chances of anything going wrong when you’re out on the roads this summer, but just in case, make sure you have your car insurance details handy. Save the claims line in your phone so that you can get through quickly and easily should you need to, and find out more about car insurance from our specialists at A-Plan here.