As many drivers will be all too familiar with, the UK weather can take a turn at a moments notice. And with more drivers taking to the roads throughout the summer months for their long-awaited staycations, there will always be one thing that remains; safety must come first.
After a long 24 months, British holiday makers are looking forward to exploring the UK as part of their family staycations this year, and whether that means travelling to Cornwall, Edinburgh or the Lake District, it’s likely that it will involve a lengthy road trip drive to get there.
However, it’s important to remember that travelling long distances isn’t for everyone. With that in mind, lets take a look at the top 5 road tips to be mindful of this summer.
1. Double check the weather forecast
Before starting a long-haul summer journey, an action for most drivers will typically be to check the weather forecast for the route, and destination. This is simply because if all looks clear, dry and hot where you set off, it might not be the same at point-B.
For example, if you’re lucky enough to just miss a rain shower home but are planning to take a motorway journey, it’s best to be extra cautious of any spray that could impact your view of the road. You may also want to allow for some additional travel time too, as sudden downpours could potentially cause breakdowns, accidents or hazards en-route.
Top tip: Pack a bag of essentials for every outcomes; sunglasses, plenty of water, umbrella and a jacket. You never know!
2. Don’t let allergies sneak up on you
What’s just as important when it comes to checking the weather, is checking the pollen forecast too, as according to the NHS, around 10 million people in England alone suffer from hay fever, which could cause issues whilst driving.
After all, the last place you want to be sneezing (and closing your eyes) is in a car doing 70mph on a busy road.
Top tip: Take a hay fever tablet before you leave, but always carefully read the label to make sure it won’t make you worse; some tablets cause blurred vision and drowsiness.
3. Plan your journey in advance
Whether you’re an experienced driver who’s used to different roads, or someone who’s simply used to their weekly shop, driving anywhere familiar is much more comfortable that not.
For new journeys, GPS devices are the ideal tool to help familiarise yourself with an upcoming route, and as well as showing you where to go, they can also help schedule pitstops, breakpoints, petrol stations and local eateries on your journey too. Perfect to ease your mind and make your travel stress-free.
Top tip: make a journey map of all your stop-offs, and give yourself plenty of rest time in between driving.
4. Carry out pre-trip checks
Even the UK can experience the occasional heatwave, and during these particular spikes of hot weather, it’s even more important to check that vehicle is in a safe condition before setting off.
For example, checking all tyres are at a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm using a 20pence piece, and ensuring that the engine is staying within a normal operating temperature range to avoid any overheating during a journey.
Top tip: National Highways offers a really handy guide to show exactly what pre-trip checks to carry out.
5. Don’t fall victim to breaking unknown driving laws
In a recent article, Moneyshake looks into driving laws that people could potentially be breaking without even realising during a heatwave; some of which could result in a fine or points on your license.
For example, those planning to travel with bikes or luggage must be careful not to overload their vehicles or cover registration plates, as this could mean a fine of up to £2,500. Having the air conditioning switched off or no windows open also risks punishment – the maximum penalty being 2 years in prison, 3-11 points and an unlimited fine – as rule 237 of the Highway Code says you must keep your vehicle well-ventilated to avoid drowsiness. And although driving whilst tired isn’t an offence, it does increase your chances of driving dangerously, making sudden movements or being involved in an accident due to lack of concentration.
Top tip: If in doubt, consult the Highway Code. It was last updated in January 2022, and whenever a new law or change to an existing law comes into practice, it’s updated by the government.
What this means for fleets
Naturally, the more cars and vans on the road can only really mean one thing; there’s bound to be more traffic.
For fleet operators, this means that the summer months are amongst their busiest times, as their vehicles still need get to their final destinations on time, every time, with as little disruption as possible. At the end of the day, their customers and clients are reliant on those delivery times being met, and any delays can cause a huge impact on productivity, meeting demand and ultimately, the entire supply chain.
This means that navigating busier-than-usual motorways, and accounting for more road diversions is essential.
So, how Egertons can help?
At Egertons, we understand that not everything can be avoided – accidents can happen to anyone, but we will always be there right when you need us.
That’s because we’re one of the UK’s leading vehicle rescue and recovery operators, with services stretching from breakdown recovery to specialist assistance, available 24/7/365 service across the country.
Our sophisticated triage process, supported by our 24-hour control room, 300-strong fleet, vast range of equipment available on hand and the technology it is equipped with, means that we’re able to help keep your vehicle downtime to an absolute minimum.
With Egertons, you make one call to our team; and we’ll do the rest.
We’re ready when you are. Every time.