Thousands of UK drivers are risking breaking down on the motorways in Britain this summer, as a result of being careless. There are a number of simple safety checks drivers should be completed ahead of the hot weather to remain safe on the roads. While the effects of winter on your car are heavily publicised, the hot weather and summer months can also take their toll and cause some different problems. Recent figures from Highways England states that around 48,500 breakdowns occur on the UK motorway network over the summer period.
In addition to this, there are roughly an additional 700 breakdowns each week in the UK between late June to early September, which sees the national average to around 5,000.
You are, however, most likely to breakdown in the first weekend of August and in the last weekend in July as there are roughly one reported every two minutes.
There are a number of simple checks you can perform on your car to help prevent a breakdown.
Firstly driver should check their car’s tyres to ensure they are puncture free and have not torn or worn down too heavily.
The tread depth must be over 1.6mm to be deemed as legal and safe and can be checked using the 20p method.
If your tyres are not in an acceptable roadworthy condition then you could be fined £2,500 and three penalty points for every dodgy tyre.
Rubber of car’s tyres can also disintegrate more quickly in the summer months, especially if the pressure is wrong. Heat can also increase the chance of them drying out and causing a blowout.
You should also check that the engine oil and coolant levels are sufficiently topped up to keep the engine working smoothly.
Cars can also use fuel more quickly if the temperatures are hotter and if the car is fuller then it can also negatively impact fuel economy.
Ensuring your car is topped up can help reduce the chance you’ll breakdown. The car’s battery may also be damaged in summer.
It is comprised of acid and water and the latter will evaporate more quickly in summer, leaving lead plates exposed.
Richard Leonard, head of safety at Highways England, said: “We want everyone to get to their destination safely and we can all play a part in that.
“Highways England has done a lot of work to ease congestion on our motorways and make them safer, and our traffic officers are there to help get things moving if there’s a problem.
“But you should also make sure you know what to do if your vehicle does break down.
“We’re expecting to see a big increase in breakdowns over the next few weeks as drivers set out on longer journeys during the summer.
“So, we’re urging drivers to remember the basics of motorway driving, including carrying out simple vehicle checks before setting off, to help keep us all moving.”