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Take extra care in the sun​

With summer just around the corner we have created a checklist of useful tips to help motorists take care and stay safe in the sun.

The advice is in response to research from the Department for Transport which shows that accidents actually increase once the sun comes out. Recent figures show that there were 6,290 accidents involving death or serious injury on Britain’s roads between July and September 2015. However, there are fewer of these accidents during the winter months, with 5,890 reported between January and March 2016.

Cameron Wade, Franchise Director at Lookers Audi, said: “Most people associate difficult driving conditions with snow, ice and darker nights, but it’s clear from research that more accidents occur in the summer. By taking a few minutes to check our cars before we set off and then consciously making a few minor adjustments to our driving style, we can all make sure that we have a safe and enjoyable summer on the road.”

We are urging motorists to take extra care during the warmer commute or when preparing their car for the summer holidays.

Check your vehicle's tyres and fluid levels

  • ​If you're using winter tyres, change them for all-season tyres to avoid rapid wear.
  • Ensure tyres are properly inflated as low pressure as a result of the heat can reduce fuel economy and contribute to blow out related accidents.
  • In warm weather, most engine oil tends to thin out, which can prevent it from properly lubricating the engine. The oil should be checked and if necessary changed before setting off on a long journey.
  • Other items that should be checked include brake fluid levels, windscreen washer fluid and coolant to avoid your engine overheating.

​Inspect your vehicle 

  • Before any long trip it may be advisable to have your car checked by an experienced mechanic at your nearest Lookers Audi centre.
  • The windscreen wiper blades should be included in the checks as they may have become worn over the winter. 
  • On hot days, some batteries can fail, especially if they are older, so it may be wise to have yours checked and replaced if necessary.

​Pack wisely 

  • An emergency travel kit should be stored in the boot at all times, but especially on long journeys. The kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, basic tools and flares, along with non-perishable food and water should you get stuck in traffic or suffer a breakdown. 
  • Overloading your 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.
  • Make sure you leave a good pair of sunglasses in your glove box.

​Watch out for tired driving 

  • Driving while fatigued is a major cause of accidents in the summer time. Drivers should use caution and be prepared to stop and take short naps. 

Be careful when towing

  • Vehicles that are towing boats, caravans or trailers should be driven more slowly than they would under normal circumstances.
  • Sudden lane changes, sharp braking and rapid deceleration that may put pressure on the engine, should be avoided.

Hay Fever

  • As well as being a general nuisance for sufferers, hay fever can be a real concern behind the wheel. In fact research shows that sneezing at 70mph on a motorway can drastically reduce your vision for as much as 100 meters. Further research from Halfords suggests that 27% of UK drivers suffer from hay fever symptoms, with one in three admitting that it causes some distraction.
  • There are many non-drowsy hay fever remedies available, while keeping a tissue to hand and closing your windows can also make your journey more comfortable.
  • Those severely affected may want to check the pollen count before they set off and plan their journey accordingly.