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10 summer driving hazards to avoid

Summer driving has its own set of challenges whether you’re on home ground or not. High temperatures, increased stress levels, and extra demands on your car are all par for the course, so make sure you read our advice to stay safe on the road.

Wet or lost key fobs

It’s easy to lose your car keys in the sand, or ruin your remote control with water by accidentally taking the fob for a swim.

Keep your keys safe and dry and check your handbook – on most cars, there’s an alternative way to open the doors that you can use if the remote stopped working.

If you do need a replacement car key or key fob, call AA Keycare on 0818 646 004. Our specialist service means you’ll have access to a nationwide network of locksmiths.

Punctures

If your tyres are already damaged or they’re at the wrong pressure, the higher temperatures of summer will increase the risk of a blowout.

Make sure you check tyres regularly – for condition and pressures – and increase pressures to suit extra loads, as advised in your handbook.

Check caravan tyres too, and replace those that show any signs of cracking in the sidewall or tread grooves.

Overheating

When driving in hot climates, high temperatures can aggravate cooling system problems too. It’s important to check the coolant and cooling system regularly to avoid overheating.

Glare

Dazzle from the sun causes lots of accidents but you can reduce the effect by keeping your windscreen nice and clean, and by replacing worn or damaged windscreen wipers.

It pays to keep a clean pair of sunglasses in your car year-round but avoid lenses that darken in strong sunlight.

Driving tired

If you feel tired, stop and take a short nap (up to 15 minutes) or drink two cups of strong coffee.

It’s best to avoid getting tired in the first place if you can. These tips can help:

  • Include a 20-minute break in journeys of more than 3 hours
  • On longer trips, take a break every couple of hours
  • You’re better off taking several short (at least 20 minutes) stops than one long one
  • Don’t drink alcohol or eat a heavy meal before driving
  • Don’t stop for a nap on the hard shoulder, and make sure you check parking restrictions before putting your head down at a motorway service area as you could get a ticket for overstaying your welcome.

Hayfever

If your hayfever is particularly bad, it’s best to get someone else to drive if you can. Also:

  • Make sure any medication you’re taking doesn’t cause drowsiness
  • Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains in the car
  • Clean mats and carpets regularly to get rid of dust
  • Keep tissues close to hand
  • Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight

Loose chippings

Roads repaired with tar and loose chippings are a common sight in the summer but they can cause cracked headlamps and windscreens, and damage paintwork if you’re not careful. Stick to any temporary speed limit that’s been put in place and keep your distance from the car in front.

Fire

If you’re a smoker, don’t just throw your cigarette out of the window when you’ve finished it. Verges and embankments can become bone-dry and a smouldering cigarette may be enough to ignite roadside grass.

Tractors

The driver of that slow-moving tractor in front of you may have a soundproofed cab or could be wearing ear protectors, so may not be able to hear approaching cars.

Be aware that tractors only have to have brake or indicator lights if driving at night, so they may stop or turn suddenly and without warning in daylight hours.

When you’re driving in the countryside:

  • Keep plenty of distance behind a tractor
  • Remember that a tractor may be longer than it appears – there could be a loader on the front
  • Before overtaking, make sure you have plenty of room to get past

Avoid a breakdown this summer

  • Slow down if you come across a spillage – if you hit a bale of straw at speed you will damage your car
  • Don’t park in a gateway or passing place – they are farmers’ field access points
  • Drive extra carefully after rain, which can turn dry mud into a skid pan
  • And don’t forget that if you do experience a breakdown AA Rescue fixes 8 out of 10 vehicles on the spot. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to drive across Europe this summer, remember that with AA European Breakdown Cover local garages across our European road network will be on standby should you experience any bumps on the road.

Looking for ways to keep your driving costs down ahead of the summer? With AA Car Insurance you can receive an automatic €100 discount on any policy purchased online.

Categories
Attractions in Spain Europe Featured Iceland Indonesia Spain

Top 4 Destinations for a Solo Traveller to Visit

[vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”20″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Travelling alone is no longer a taboo. According to a recent survey conducted by Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, 24% of holidaymakers opted to be a solo traveller in 2015, this is up from 15% in 2013.

Various travel agents, holiday comparison websites and cruise companies are starting to adapt to this growing trend, by method of updating their packages and facilities to cater for the budding “solo traveller”.

Particularly for first-timers it can be a daunting prospect so safety, the level of friendliness of the locals are important factors. Embark on a voyage of self-discovery and see some of our top picks for those who are travelling solo.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19636″][vc_column_text]

Mediterranean Cruise

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]Let’s face it, a cruise down the Med does sound like some piece of heaven but some solo travellers can get caught out with paying double the price for their tickets.  This occurs in an effort to recuperate the cost for the spare bedroom bunk along with a host of other costs such as; of food, drinks and spa treatments. However, various cruise companies are now beginning to accommodate single bedroom cabins catering for the growing number of solo travellers.

For all age groups; either single or married solo travellers, cruises are known to be a good way of making friends, meet like-minded people which often lead to arranging future holidays.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19634″][vc_column_text]

Reykjavik, Iceland

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center”][vc_column_text]After a holiday with a difference, that has friendly locals, a relatively strong level of English and is safe? Get a four-in-one and look no further then Reykjavik, Iceland. The coastal-capital has become a hot spot among solo adventure seekers. With a white blanket picturesque back drop, Iceland is a holiday you won’t forget.

According to a previous AA Travel Insurance poll, over half of survey respondents said that Aurora Borealis, or more commonly known as the Northern Lights topped their bucket list. Spot the breath-taking Northern Lights and if you get a clear night you can even see these over the city.

Thrill seekers can enjoy glacier hiking, horse-riding on a friendly Icelandic horse, whale watching, puffin watching or the opportunity to go snorkelling in the nearby Sifra, in Thingvellir Valley where your tour guides can arrange to collect you.

If you prefer a more laid back approach then the Golden Circle or a South Shore tour is perfect.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” parallax_content_width=”in_grid” angled_section=”no” angled_section_position=”both” angled_section_direction=”from_left_to_right” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”50″ css_animation=”element_from_fade”][vc_column width=”1/1″][image_with_text image=”19632″]

Source: Flickr

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Bali, Indonesia

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Calling all yogis. How does practicing yoga, deep meditation, attending spirituality workshops, spas, massages until your heart’s content sound to you? Topped with the usual bells and whistles of blissful beaches, enough markets to satisfy your inner shopaholic and once in a lifetime experiences. Not to mention, truly breath-taking views and did we mention Bali is also very cheap upon arrival? Though there is a catch of a 20 hour flight involved! But if you equate Bali into that trip you have been putting off to visit your son/daughter/niece/nephew/sibling/friend in Australia, it may not seem that bad.

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Costa Brava & Barcelona

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Still not convinced on a long haul flight? Then, sunny Spain is perfect and just a short flight away. Costa Brava is a top pick for solo travellers best known for its scrumptious food and restaurants, scorching weather, beautiful blank sandy beaches, magnificent landscapes and isolated coves.  Get the most out of your holiday and head south to Barcelona for a couple of days and soak up some culture, admire the Gothic architecture, browse shops down the Las Ramblas, gaze at the lively Magic Fountains of Montjuïc or tour the Barcelona FC Stadium.

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