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Safe Summer Driving Tips

09 Jul 2012 at 12:12

We’re meant to be right in the middle of the British summer, despite the recent abysmal weather. But while you need to keep concentration levels up for driving in the wet, even driving in the dry needs special attention.

Warm dry roads are the stuff motoring enthusiasts dream of, but they bring with them a new set of risks to manage and hazards to watch out for.

Good weather makes it a great time for horse riding, cycling and walking, for example. This increases the risk of meeting slow moving animals, vehicles or people just around that next bend. So how can you mitigate such risks?

Well, for starters, set your speed to the road you’re driving on. That doesn’t mean go everywhere at the speed limit. Instead, adjust your velocity to stay safe, especially on blind bends.

If you’re coming up behind a horse, a cyclist or a group of walkers, give them enough space and reduce your speed in plenty of time. Horses are unpredictable and spook easily, so don’t rush up to the back of them or make any sudden noises.

The story is similar with cyclists – you can’t be sure of their skill level, that they’re aware of your presence or what they’re going to do next.

Pass slowly, giving them plenty of room. With electric and hybrid cars becoming more popular, it’s doubly important to ensure rider and horse – as well as cyclists – know you’re there so they can act accordingly.

In town, horse riders are not a problem that customarily afflicts urban drivers, but cyclists are. The rules are the same, and in urban areas with fast moving dense traffic, it’s particularly important to watch for bikes coming up on your left hand side – always give your nearside mirror a quick glance before turning left.

Summer sees more vulnerable road users on the road, but they have as much right as car drivers to be there. We motorists have to respect that.