Britain sizzles: Ten tips for driving

Driving in a heat wave can be dangerous – which is why DriveSafe has some simple tips for coping with this summer’s soaring temperatures.


Safer driving

Photo: The Birmingham Press

Whether you are heading to the beach or just going to work, preparation is the key to keeping cool according to the Birmingham-based road safety charity.

The advice for hot weather driving follows the release of official figures showing that more than 700 people died from the effects of heat in the UK last week.

  1. Make sure your radiator is filled with fluid to prevent overheating and your tyres are properly inflated to avoid a blowout
  2. Think of the comfort of your passengers by ensuring your air conditioner is in good working order before you set out
  3. Wear light loose-fitting clothing and sunglasses but avoid wearing summer shoes that can slip and cause you to lose control such as flip-flops
  4. Never leave children or pets unattended for any length of time in a car as temperatures can rise very rapidly to dangerous levels
  5. If you are travelling a long distance, plan your trip for the early morning or the evening to make it easier on your engine
  6. Carry a cold box containing plenty of water and take regular refreshment stops to ensure everyone remains hydrated
  7. Check your washer is adequate for keeping your windscreen clear of dust, dirt and dried insects that can quickly build up in hot weather
  8. Use window shades in the back of the car to protect those especially sensitive to the sun such as babies and young children
  9. Keep children happy on a long journey by giving them plenty to drink, read and watch
  10. As always, ensure that everyone is wearing their seat belt and that you drive within the speed limit and remain alert.

Fay Goodman, Founder of DriveSafe, said: “Motorists should be extra cautious in the current heat wave to avoid the risks of driving dangerously. With 100 people a day dying due to the hot weather drivers need to keep cool and plan ahead.”

DriveSafe is campaigning to make driving safer and more pleasant for motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians through its ‘Courtesy on the Road’ campaign. The charity published a driver’s handbook, ‘DriveSafe – An Essential Guide for Motorists’ in association with Aston University last year.


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