UK Coast
February 27, 2018

The rise of the staycation: travelling safely

Every summer, people all around the world leave town for a holiday – and in more recent years, more and more people are choosing to holiday on home soil as opposed to foreign land, meaning many choose their cars as oppose to aeroplanes. However, driving during the warm summer months presents its own challenges, which can sometimes cause trouble on the trip. Here, car dealers, Lookers plc provide some vital summer travelling advice for travellers to keep in mind.

Tyres and fluid levels

The UK is known for its temperamental weather, meaning some drivers use winter tyres on their vehicles – however, as the warmer months come around, you should change them for all-season tyres to avoid rapid wear and make them last for another winter. Monitoring the vehicle’s tyre pressure is also important, since low inflation can reduce fuel economy and contribute to blow out related accidents. Tyre pressure instructions can usually be found on one of the vehicles front doors or in the owner’s manual.

Engine oil tends to thin out in warmer weather, which may prevent it from properly lubricating the engine. To avoid any problems the oil should be checked and if necessary changed before setting off on a long hot journey. Other items that should be checked include brake fluid levels and windscreen washer fluid.

Inspect your vehicle

It is wise to give your full vehicle a check over before a trip. Take the car to an experienced mechanic, who can inspect the belts and hoses, before the trip. The windscreen wiper blades should also be checked, since they may have become worn over the winter. On hot days, some car batteries fail, especially if they are older, so it may be wise to replace it before going on holiday.

Pack the essentials

Especially when you are going on a long trip, make sure you have packed all the essentials in case of an emergency. An emergency travel kit should be kept in the boot at all times, but especially when taking a holiday. The kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools and flares, along with non-perishable food and water. It is also sensible to include a cooler with light snacks and liquids for the trip. Coolers can always be replenished with additional items along the way.

Furthermore, don’t overpack the car. Again, just pack the ‘essentials’. Overloading the vehicle can cause issues with tyre pressure, fuel economy and safety. If items are piled too high inside the car, they can block the driver’s vision, so it is important to pack only the necessary items and do so as efficiently as possible.

Watch out for tired driving

For long journeys, be sensible and know when it is time to take a break if you are feeling fatigue. Driving while fatigued is a major cause of accidents on motorways.

Be cautious when towing

You won’t be the first to tow something when going on holidays, but remember this will reduce your speed significantly on the roads. Whether you are towing a boat, caravan or trailer, your driving conditions will change. Sudden lane changes, sharp braking and rapid deceleration that may put pressure on the engine, should also be avoided.