How to Drive Safely During a Heatwave: The Essential Guide

Ready for a much-needed summer road trip? We’ve got you covered with some essential tips...

Summer is here and most of us want to head out for our well-deserved summer trip after being cooped indoors most of the year during quarantine. We have everything ready; a sleek new swimsuit, our pals and a great road trip playlist. But, the most important thing is to keep our cool and know how to travel in very hot weather. 

July’s heatwave has come to an end but the Met Office has forecasted hot temperatures for August as an African plume heads for the UK. In this article we’ve brought you some essential fresh tips to drive safely during any heatwave, but also tips that will be useful for any other time of the year inside or outside of the city. 

Car maintenance 

Extreme heat can affect our cars as much as it can affect us, so it’s important to check certain key areas to prevent any issues along the road. For example, checking the coolant and engine oil levels are wise choices. 

Summer’s warm temperatures can also change your vehicle's tyre pressure. Make sure you adjust your tyre pressure to the best pressure for your car model and, when on the road, always be careful and watch out for soft or slippery roads that could affect your steering and breaking.

A good night’s sleep equals safe driving 

A good night's sleep before you hit the road is important because feeling tired can definitely affect your driving ability, concentration and reaction times. Not to mention falling asleep behind the wheel! So have enough rest, some caffeine and put on your favourite tunes to make the best of your trip or commute!

Take a break 

Stop for breaks at least every 90 minutes to stretch your legs and breathe some fresh air. It is also highly recommended to avoid the hottest hours of the day when driving, usually from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. If you can’t avoid them because of a very tight schedule, then make sure your air conditioner works fine or roll down your windows. 

Stay hydrated 

Regardless of how short the trip is, we should always carry with us more than one bottle of water to stay hydrated and awake. Believe it or not, water can be even better than coffee to make us feel energetic throughout the day. Make sure you have plenty of liquid on hand just in case. 

Make sure the kids and pets are comfortable

Kids and pets can be more susceptible to hot weather and we need to keep them as comfortable as possible. If you’re taking a trip with them, it’s best to ensure that your car is fit for that purpose. There are many dog-friendly vehicles out in the market that would make any trip much more enjoyable for everyone. 

In the case of the kids, keep them always hydrated, make sure they are wearing light clothes and, if possible, take cold snacks like fruit and vegetables with you. 

To keep your pet cool during the trip, schedule breaks for walkies in shady spots; we don’t want their little paws to get burned! And bathroom breaks.