Hot weather predicted

With hot weather forecast, particularly in the south east, we've a few tips if you’re venturing out this summer.

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Published

13 Jul 2022

The Met Office has issued a warning for Extreme Heat for most of England from Sunday 17 July to Tuesday 19 July 2022.

There are a number of tips for drivers to help them deal with high temperatures and dazzling sunshine as they prepare to make their journeys this summer.

If you're driving during periods of hot weather, it is advised that you:

Plan ahead

  • Take a bottle of water before setting out to ensure you stay hydrated
  • Plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination
  • Check your vehicle before you leave - see below
  • Check travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys

Before setting off

Carry out these basic checks to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy.

  • Tyres: Ensure tyre pressures are suitable for the load and check the condition of tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear across the whole tyre including sidewall.
  • Engine oil: Check oil levels regularly and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.
  • Water: Always keep your screen wash topped up with a good ratio of water and screen wash to maximise the cleaning efficiency so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen easily.
  • Lights: If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, your vehicle may fail its MoT.
  • Fuel: Before setting out make sure you have enough fuel to get to your destination. Running out of fuel can put you, your family and other road users at risk unnecessarily.

Watch Traffic Officer, Dave Harford, demonstrate how to carry out vehicle checks safely.

On the road

  • Cut out the glare: You can reduce the glare from sunlight by taking some sunglasses with you, as bright sunshine can lower visibility and make driving more challenging. However, avoid category four sunglasses as these have extremely dark lenses which let in very little light and are unsuitable for driving. All sunglasses should be labelled with a category number.
  • Engine temperature: During particularly hot weather, make sure your engine stays within the normal operating temperature range. However, if it begins to overheat, find somewhere safe to stop and allow it to cool down.
  • Be mindful of others: Summer is popular for cyclists, motorcyclists, walkers and horse riders to get out and about, so please take particular care to give them space and time. Slow down on sharp bends in case there’s a vulnerable road user around the corner.

The Met Office is advising drivers that:  

  • Delays on roads and road closures are possible with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays.
  • Routes to coastal areas, lakes and rivers could be busier as significantly more people try to escape the heat. 
  • Further weather advice and information can be found on the Met Office website.

For more information and advise, visit our travelling in summer webpage.

To keep informed about driving conditions during your journey, follow messages on overhead signs and listen to radio updates.

Further information can be found by checking the National Highways website for traffic updates, National Highways’ regional Twitter feeds or calling the National Highways Information Line on 0300 123 5000.  

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