5 common summer driving mistakes (and how to avoid them)

5 common summer driving mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Summertime is here! Of course, not that you’d know it by looking out of the window sometimes. Now, there are some advantages to our relatively mild summers – sure, they’re not always as hot and sunny as we’d like, but at the same time, it means the driving conditions don’t get quite as extreme as they do in places like, say, across the Mediterranean. That doesn’t mean summer doesn’t come with its fair share of challenges though, so whether you’re planning to hire a car, or you’re driving your own, here are some of the top mistakes to avoid…

Driving with improper tyre pressure

Proper tyre pressure is crucial year-round, but it's especially important in summer. As temperatures rise, so can the air pressure inside your tyres – sometimes faster than you might give it credit for. Driving with underinflated tyres not only reduces fuel efficiency, but also increases the risk of a blowout, which can be especially dangerous on hot roads.

If you’re driving you own car, make sure to check your tyre pressure regularly, including the spare tyre, and inflate them to the recommended levels as specified in your vehicle’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb. (If you’re driving one of our vehicles here at Intack of course, it’s one of the many checks you can expect us to make on your behalf.)

Underestimating sun glare

Sun glare can significantly impair visibility, particularly during early morning or late afternoon driving when the sun is low on the horizon. Sunlight reflecting off the road surface or other the mirrors of other vehicles can also create blinding conditions, as we can all probably unfortunately attest to at one time or another – and those can easily create the conditions for a crash.

There are a couple of ways you can minimise the impact of sun glare – for example, you can use polarised sunglasses to reduce glare and improve visibility. Additionally, it helps to keep your windscreen clean inside and out to reduce glare and ensure your vehicle's sun visors are in good condition and positioned correctly to block direct sunlight. When all fails, one good way to minimise the risk is simply to adjust your route or travel times to avoid driving directly into the sun.

Overloading the vehicle

Summer often means packing for holidays and similar outings, but overloading your vehicle can have serious consequences. Exceeding your vehicle’s weight limit can strain the suspension, brakes, and tyres, affecting your vehicle's handling and safety. For that reason alone, it’s a good idea to stay mindful of the weight capacity, and distribute weight evenly inside the vehicle and on roof racks if you end up using those. If you need extra space, it helps to start at the basic cause, and try and see how you can pack lighter, or use a cargo carrier.

Not staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is typically associated with personal health, but it’s also crucial for maintaining focus and alertness while driving in the summer heat. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function—all of which can increase the risk of accidents on the road. It’s therefore always smart to keep a bottle of water within reach and drink regularly, especially during long drives. If you can, try and avoid excessive caffeine and sugary drinks, as they can contribute to dehydration – and you’ll start to feel it all the more acutely if you’re driving in particularly hot or muggy conditions.

Underestimating driver fatigue

Long summer drives, particularly in hot weather, can make you more tired than you might think. That can impair reaction times and decision-making abilities – in short, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. To combat that fatigue, make sure to plan regular breaks every two hours or 100 miles to rest and stretch.

If you’re on long journeys with a partner, try and switch roles where you can, so both of you get a chance to rest. If you feel drowsy while driving, pull over in a safe location and take a short nap before continuing your journey. Lots of people are tempted to power through it, but if you’re travelling at motorway speeds, you’ll cover 30 metres per second – so even a momentary lapse of concentration can be more than enough to cause a crash!

Essentially, just as with winter driving, in summer it always helps to be prepared, especially if you’re going on long journeys. If you’re already all sorted though, and you’re looking for the best prices on car hire or van hire, you’re in exactly the right place. Our extensive fleet comprises of more than 450 vehicles, including cars, vans, and minibuses.

We offer both Flexi hire and daily hire options, so you can rent the vehicle for as long or as little as you need! Feel free to contact us at 01254 57811, and we’re always happy to help you in any way we can!

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