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Summer road safety

By James Billings
Practice Leader, Motor Risk Solutions

As we approach the summer months, we can expect to see more cars, motorbikes, bikes, and other vehicles on the roads, leading to longer travel times, traffic jams and more incidents.

Along with more traffic on the roads, July and August tend to be the busiest months for vehicle breakdowns on highways and major roads.

With more people regularly working from home and spending less time behind the wheel, driving skills can fade. Because driving is one of the most dangerous things many people do each day, it’s vital that businesses have a pre-emptive strategy in place for reducing the risk of a collision.

There are a number of summer driving considerations for fleet and risk managers to be aware of, including:

Vehicle maintenance in summer is as important as any other time of year.

  • Ensure that air conditioning is working effectively and check coolant levels.
  • Windscreen smears caused by insects can impair visibility, so keep windscreens clean, the windshield washer reservoir topped up, and have extra windshield washer fluid in the vehicle.
  • Hot weather increases the risk of puncture, so check tires for damage, tread depth and correct tire pressures.


Allergies and Hay fever cause itchy and watery eyes, blocked and running noses, and sneezing, which can be a real distraction to drivers. You can advise affected drivers to use non-drowsy antihistamines such as Claritin and Cetirizine and keep a good supply of tissues in the vehicle.

  • Dehydration can make symptoms worse so keep a bottle of water in the vehicle.
  • Monitor weather warnings for when pollen counts are expected to be high.
  • Regularly vacuum the vehicle to remove pollen and provide vehicle purifiers and ionizers to reduce pollen particles.

Drivers may feel warm weather fatigue. To help combat fatigue, commercial vehicle drivers should take regular breaks, ideally every two hours, even if it’s a shorter journey. 

  • Regular short breaks are better than one long stop.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal before driving.
  • Stop for a coffee and some fresh air if feeling drowsy.

Glare from the sun can cause incidents, so wearing the correct sunglasses can improve vision and help reduce glare.

  • It’s recommended that drivers have their eyes tested every two years.
  • If a driver needs prescription lenses, their sunglasses should also have the same prescription lenses.
  • Not all sunglasses are suitable for driving. Some sunglasses can be too dark (Class 4 lenses let through little light), and some frame features like deep arms can obstruct peripheral vision.


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James Billings

James Billings

Practice Leader