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Summer Driving Hazards

If you have experienced an accident due to summer driving hazards then you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.

Whilst we are all aware of the driving challenges winter often brings, summer driving too brings with it challenges.

Sunshine and hot weather

Whilst it could be debated whether the English summer brings much sunshine, driving when the sun is out causes a number of issues including glare or sun blindness, which can be particularly bad if roads are wet. 

The Highway Code states that when driving in sunny conditions you should

  • Reduce speed and drive more cautiously to account for reduced visibility and glare from the sun.
  • Wear appropriate sunglasses and use your car’s sun visors to reduce glare, improve visibility, protect your eyes from the sun’s rays and help reduce the risk of sun blindness. 
  • Ensure you are aware of all risks – sometimes road surfaces can become soft and prone to damage during spells of intense heat making it more difficult to control motor vehicles as your tyres may not grip the road so well.
  • Be cautious of other road users who may also be affected by the sunshine and be prepared for sudden changes in visibility.  This can be especially important when travelling uphill towards the sun, or early morning and late evening when the sun may be particularly low in the sky.
  • Ensure your windscreen, both inside and outside, are kept clean and clear so visibility is not further reduced.

Driving in the sunshine and intense heat can cause the interior of cars to become extremely hot and uncomfortable potentially leading to unpleasant driving conditions and fatigue.  If travelling with young children or animals in the vehicle, try to use sunshades, but ensure your visibility is not affected, to help shade them and keep them cool.  Use your vehicles air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature and take regular breaks to stay hydrated and alert.

Importantly, never leave children or animals in parked cars, even if you are just popping into a shop quickly and have chosen a shady spot.  Temperatures in cars rise dangerously high, the RSPCA report that when its 22 degrees Celsius outside, cars can reach 47 degrees within an hour causing serious harm and suffering to children and animals.

Hayfever

We all unavoidable sneeze whilst driving from time to time, but did you know that when you sneeze, your eyes close for approximately 0.5 seconds.  This means that if you are driving at 50mph and sneeze, you will drive blind for around 11 metres?  Hayfever sufferers are particularly prone to sneezing behind the wheel during period of high pollen, so consider taking non-drowsy hayfever relief tablets, or letting someone else do the driving for you when possible.

Car maintenance

Hot temperatures can make existing tyre damage worse so ensure you check your tyres regularly and before setting off on any long journeys and keep them inflated correctly.

Car cooling systems are under more strain in hot temperatures and cars may be more prone to overheating – ensure you check coolant levels regularly and particularly before any long journeys.

Cars can break down when least expected so its important to ensure that you are prepared for an emergency before setting off on journeys, especially long journeys that may take you to places you are unfamiliar with.  Consider breakdown cover, ensure you have water for all passengers including pets, carry phone chargers in your car and a first aid kit, and have easy access to sun cream and sun hats in case you need to wait for breakdown services in an area with little or no shade.

Other road users

Warmer weather brings with it more cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders, sharing the roads with motor vehicles.  Ensure you are aware of your surroundings and driving to road conditions so you can react in good time – the Highway Code features of a hierarchy of vulnerable road users which everyone should be aware of, and ensure when passing horse riders that you slow down to a maximum of 10 mph, pass slow and wide, do not sound your horn or rev your engine, and pull away slowly once you have passed the horse and rider.

Tractors are a more common sight on rural roads in the summer months and will be slow moving.  The cab may be soundproofed, or the driver may be wearing ear protectors so may not be aware of other road users approaching.  Tractors may turn unexpectedly into fields and farms so ensure you leave plenty of distance between you and the tractor and ensure if overtaking that you allow plenty of room to pass as if the tractor has a loader on the front, it may be a lot longer than it at first appears.

Whilst it could be debated whether the English summer brings much sunshine, driving when the sun is out causes a number of issues.
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Major Trauma Group

Major Trauma Group is a not-for-profit community interest group, comprising leading law firms across England and Wales who specialise in assisting individuals following serious or life changing injuries.  Our focus is on gaining rehabilitation for clients to ensure the best possible recovery from their injuries, alongside financial compensation.

If you would like to have a free, no obligation chat with a specialist injury solicitor, email hello@majortraumagroup.co.uk

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Who are the serious injury solicitors of Major Trauma Group, and how can they help me?

Who are the serious injury solicitors of Major Trauma Group, and how can they help me?

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