The Dangers of Driving: Summer Sun Edition

Posted by at 2 July 2019, at 08 : 36 AM

The Dangers of Driving: Summer Sun Edition

Think that winter is the most dangerous time of year to be on the roads? Think again, when the sun comes out, there are a tonne of additional risks that you need to be aware of as a motorist. Here are some examples.

More pedestrians around

When the sun comes out, the first thing most people want to do is get outside. And so on sunny days, you’re having to deal with pedestrians everywhere. This can be something to particularly bear in mind when you live in built up areas and people are constantly crossing the roads and close to vehicles. Combine this with the fact that schools out over the summer meaning more kids and teens are around (which are far more unpredictable around roads) and tourist who may not completely understand the road system in the country you live in- it can spell disaster. Always keep your speed low around built up areas, watch out for kids in the roads on quieter streets or people crossing from in between cars.

More bikes and motorbikes on the road

As well as more pedestrians to deal with, when the sun comes out, people tend to hop on their bicycles and motorbikes meaning you tend to have far more of these road users to watch out for too. Motorbikes tend to pose less of an issue, providing you give them space to filter through traffic they will overtake and get out of you way. However, with bikes it’s always going to be you doing the overtaking. You need to give them plenty of space, while being mindful of oncoming traffic in the other lane- the last thing you need is to be dealing with a head on collision. Written off cars, serious medical issues and car crash lawyer bills could all result! Never try overtaking a bike when you’re coming up to a junction or any hidden road such as dips or turns.

More road users meaning added congestion

More cars on the road causes traffic congestion which makes people feel irritated. When they start to get annoyed and rush, they can take risks which they might not otherwise take- pulling out at roundabouts when there’s not a big enough gap, nipping into lanes of traffic without proper signalling and generally driving aggressively. Even if you don’t fall into these traps yourself, others out there will and so these are additional things to be aware of when the traffic is busy.

More drink drivers

Not everyone is sensible when it comes to driving, and unfortunately the good weather can bring out the worst in some people. Some road users will blatantly drink drive when they’re in a real mess, causing potential havoc on the roads. But many more will try and push it, they’ll have a few so that they’re over the limit but still think they’re ok to drive. When in reality they’re not, their reflexes are slower and their control of the car is poor compared with their normal driving. As road users, we all know that driving is about taking responsibility for ourselves, while being aware of what other vehicles are likely to do, so we can respond to this. Be aware that on sunny and warm days, there are probably going to be people around driving when they shouldn’t be. If you see suspicious behaviour, pull over into a safe place and report this to the police.

Blinding sunlight

One of the reasons for many accidents in the summer is crashes due to poor visibility. When you think about poor visibility chances are it’s rain, fog and snow over the winter that you think about, but the summer sun is incredibly blinding. Buy yourself a pair of polarised sunglasses to drive in, these are designed to reduce glare which can make it easier to see on the roads. If you really can’t see what’s in front of you, pull over and wait. If you can see but your vision is limited then keep your speed slow and your wits about you.

Excess heat can cause negative effects on your car and body

Finally, another reason why summer driving can be problematic is the toll that the heat can take on both your car and your vehicle. If you don’t have AC then the inside temperatures can soar even with the windows open, then there’s the dehydration and tiredness to deal with on long journeys. Very hot days can even cause the engine of your car to overheat and break down as a result. Make sure your breakdown cover is up to date, always park in shaded areas when you can and maintain your vehicle to give it the best chance of remaining reliable.

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