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Did you know?

  • Hot weather can cause fatigue and irritability to drivers.
  • Drivers can become easily dehydrated and it can affect their driving abilities.
  • Drivers experience increased congestion from high levels of traffic on holiday routes and in road works for road construction and maintenance.

Summer brings out different road users. Look out for horses, tractors, caravans, horseboxes, cyclists and walkers.

Loose chippings are a common sight on roads in the summer, they can cause cracked headlamps and windscreens, and damage paintwork. Stick to temporary speed limits as advised by road signage.

Construction increases during summer. Driving by construction sites is frustrating. It causes traffic to slow down and that makes drivers more likely to rush to get where they are going when they finally get past construction zones.

People pay less attention driving during summer as they are more relaxed and get easily distracted.

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Keep a bottle of water in the vehicle, a 5% drop in hydration levels can cause a drop of up to 30% in concentration levels.

Keep windscreens clean as dirt and marks can amplify sun glare. Have access to and wear a clean pair of sunglasses while driving.

Stay alert. The number of people on the roads in the summer increases. They may be unfamiliar with the roads they are travelling on causing confusion and therefore be more likely to make sudden turns or U-turns. They could also be more prone to crashing while distracted by trying to follow a map or satnav.

Drive extra carefully after rain, as it can turn dry surfaces into a skid area. Roads can be extra slippery when it rains after a long period of dry weather.


Keep the vehicle’s coolant topped up to reduce the chance of it overheating and turn the engine off when stuck in traffic as this too will prevent it from overheating.

Regularly check tyre pressures and condition on a monthly basis as the higher temperatures of summer increase tyre pressure that could lead to the risk of tyre blowout.

In hot weather, vehicles may sometimes give unnecessary cause for concern. Here are are some examples:

  • Pools of water under a vehicle which are caused by condensed water from the air conditioning system.
  • Vapour from air vents is just water vapour produced by the air conditioning unit that has not had time to condense.
  • Roaring from the engine bay is often the cooling fan turning on and off.
  • If a vehicle seems to have less power, this is probably because the air is warmer and less dense, resulting in the engine being less efficient.

This information sheet is free for employers to download and distribute to their drivers.
It may not be amended in any way | Copyright 2021 National Highways.