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The warm weather could encourage Britons across the country to get in their cars and head further afield for a socially distanced day trip. But experts have warned motorists still need to “stay safe” in the heat. Vix Leyton, motoring expert at carwow.co.uk has warned motorists need to take into consideration vital steps to ensure they do not fall victim to the boiling weather on a journey.
She says motorosts should consider a range of simple measures such as checking their vehicle before departing and ensuring they stay hydrated behind the wheel.
She said: “However, with roads and motorways expected to be busy with day-trippers and temperatures soaring, it’s vital to stay safe during your journeys, no matter how long the distance.
“Below are some tips that both drivers and passengers alike need to take into consideration ahead of tomorrow’s heatwave.”
Check your vehicle
Ms Leyton reveals that extreme heat can affect vehicles just as badly as human bodies and urged drivers to consider simple checks before setting off.
She warned drivers that they should check their engine oil and water coolant levels before a long trip and advised motorists to stock up on screenwash in case extra is needed.
When arriving at a destination, road users are also urged to park in a shady spot which will protect your vehicle from dangerously high temperatures.
Checks are even more vital considering some vehicles have not been used much diluting the lockdown.
Vehicles parked up in the garage and not being sued can develop faults such as battery issues and flat tyres so road users are urged to take extra care on their first few long trips since the shutdown.
Failure to check a car could lead to your vehicle breaking down and driver’s waiting for a recovery vehicle which could be expensive if they do not have a policy in place.
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Experts have warned drivers should always keep a bottle of water with them during a journey at all times to ensure they stay hydrated.
Ms Leyton warned this would be vital in worst case scenarios where your vehicle breaks down and drover’s could be waiting hours for a recovery vehicle.
Take regular breaks
Ms Leyton warns warm weather is likely to make drivers feel “drowsy” and “impaired” behind the wheel which can have a major effect on their driving.
This could increase their risk of avoiding key road hazards which may lead to a car crash or minor accidents,
She suggests road users should take breaks at least every hour and a half and encourages motorists to avoid journeys during peak weather bouts.
Ms Leyton said: “Warm weather is more likely to make you feel drowsy and impaired, and can therefore affect your driving ability, reaction times, judgement and could have an adverse effect on your ability to concentrate, potentially resulting in collisions or accidents.
“At least seven hours sleep ahead of any drive in a warm car is optimal to [ensure] the safety of yourself and your fellow passengers.
“If your vehicle comes without air conditioning, it’s recommended to stop for breaks at least every 90 minutes in order to allow everyone the chance for some fresh air and to stretch their legs.
“It’s also a good idea to plan journeys around the cooler parts of the day and avoid being in the car between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm.”
Consider pollen levels
For motorists suffering with hayfever, periods of warm weather can increase the pollen count and worsen symptoms.
Although it is not illegal to drive while suffering from allergies, road users could find they become distracted behind the wheel which could see drivers put themselves and other road users in danger.
In some severe cases, police officers may decide to issue fines and penalty points for careless or dangerous driving in a major blow for many.
Ms Leyton says: “If finding an alternative chauffer isn’t an option, then it’s advisable that windows and sunroofs are kept closed during journeys in order to prevent pollen flying inside the moving vehicle and impairing your ability to drive.”
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