10 Summer Driving Tips

 

Summer means increased road traffic, which means more pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, campers and tourists. 
Here are our 10 most important driving tips this summer. 
May your journeys be safe and fun!


1.    STAY ALERT
Roads may be more congested in summer. Keep an eye out for more vulnerable road users. Check blind spots for cyclists and motorcyclists and give them space to ride free. Share the road safely. 


2.    DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence in Ireland. You may think that a quick pint will do no harm, but the statistics tell a different story. Alcohol impairs our driving ability even if we don’t feel any different. According to the RSA, an average of 172 drivers per week were arrested in 2017 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 
It’s better to hit the road after a good night’s sleep and a big cup of coffee. 

The legal limit for fully licenced drivers is 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.  The legal limit for professional and learner drivers is 20 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.  Local police (An Garda Siochána) have powers to set up random breath-test checkpoints.

Source: RSA (www.rsa.ie)


3.    TOP UP YOUR FLUIDS
Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the journey. It might be a good idea to have a reusable water bottle. That way you can refill it with fresh water at every stop. 
You’re not the only one who needs a bit of cooling this summer. When was the last time you checked your engine’s coolant levels? You might want to check before setting out. Not sure how to do it? We will do it for you at your nearest First Stop shop. 
Find your local First Stop here: https://www.firststop.ie/en-ie/find-your-shop. 


4.    DRIVING IN A HOT CAR 
Avoid getting into an already hot car by parking in the shade and leaving a window slightly open. The heat can cause a feeling of being light headed. Avoid discomfort. Ensure your car is ventilated. 

 

5.    SUMMER ALLERGIES 
Seasonal allergies are an unwelcome visitor during the summer months. Driving with distracting allergy symptoms can be dangerous. Make sure your allergy medication won’t impact your ability to drive. We recommend cleaning air filters regularly.


6.    GLARING SUN
There’s nothing better than a bright sunny day. Although we don’t get too many sunny days here in Ireland, the glaring sun can cause problems. The sun is usually the brightest in the early morning and late afternoon. The bright light can often make it difficult to see the cars around you.  
1)    Use your sun visors. 
2)    Wear sunglasses. 
3)    Clean the windshield. 
4)    Keep safe distance from the vehicle in front. 

 

7.    TYRES, TYRES, TYRES
Premium tyres ensure better traction on warm roads. Tyres are your connection to the road, so a top-notch set is an absolute necessity. 
Check your tread depth regularly. 
Check your tyre pressure regularly. 
Check your wear pattern regularly. 
Contact your local First Stop , and we’ll get you sorted with the right set of tyres. 
 https://www.firststop.ie/en-ie/find-your-shop.


8.    SUMMER RAIN
It’s always raining somewhere in Ireland! Summer months make no exception. To drive safely in the rain, keep your windows clean and clear. Your windshield wiper blades are made of rubber that’s meant to handle water. Make sure your window wipers are working properly. We recommend replacing them once a year.  Again, maintain your tyres. Avoid skidding and hydroplaning. Drive with caution, especially in heavy rain. Adjust your speed accordingly. 


9.    VEHICLE SAFETY PRE-CHECKS 
Spot potentially dangerous defects before starting a journey. Embrace a routine of weekly checks to maintain a high standard of roadworthiness. A maintained vehicle is less likely to be involved in an accident. According to the RSA, safety benefits include:
-    Improved driver safety
-    Safer driver environment
-    Fewer collisions
What to check?
-    Lights, windows and mirrors
-    Tyres
-    Fluids
-    Instruments
-    Car internal checks
(www.rsa.ie)


10.    EMERGENCY ROADSIDE KIT
No matter how new or well-maintained the car is, a breakdown can happen! 
A roadside emergency kit is one of those things you need to have in the event of an emergency breakdown. The contents of your kit will assist you in whatever the nature of the emergency may be. 
Here are 5 things we at First Stop recommend:
1.    Jumper cables
2.    A tow rope 
3.    A hazard warning triangle 
4.    A torch 
5.    First Aid kit