driving in hot weather

Driving in hot weather – useful advice for lorry and van drivers

Driving in hot weather

Unless you live in a freezer, you’ll know about the heat wave we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment. So I thought I’d write a little about driving in hot weather, the possible issues and how to stay cool!


Air expands in heat! Our safety – and that of other road users – is wholly reliant on the ability and condition of our tyres to perform. Driving in hot weather means high ambient temperatures, hot road surfaces and higher speeds result in higher tyre pressures

Check the tyre mounting and air pressure. Inspect the tires every two hours or every 100 miles when driving in very hot weather.

Don’t let air out or the pressure will be too low when the tyres cool off. If a tyre is too hot to touch, don’t drive until the tyre cools off. Otherwise, the tire may blow out or catch fire.”

It’s always advisable for drivers to carry a tyre pressure gauge anyway. Use this if you are ever unsure.

Ventilation and sun burn
Rule 237 Highway code

“Keep your vehicle well ventilated to avoid drowsiness. Be aware that the road surface may become soft or if it rains after a dry spell it may become slippery. These conditions could affect your steering and braking. If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop.”

Driving while you are hot will cause you to become dehydrated more quickly. Make sure you take on fluids regularly because dehydration reduces your ability to think and react, and therefore increases the risk you’ll have an accident.

Most vehicles now (fortunately) come with air conditioning. However, some older vehicles (unfortunately) don’t. This means it’s a case of windows open and the ventilation on full blast. Obviously drivers (sunburn) arm is likely to occur here, so either wear a long sleeve top, wear suncream or use your top to just cover your right arm. If it’s any conciliation I have been there and suffered the torment of traffic jams on the M25 for long periods of time in a lorry with no air con!

Hay Fever

Hay fever can lead to potential safety issues on roads if not controlled.  If you sneeze at 70mph you lose your vision for as much as 100 metres this can be very dangerous.  Here’s a few tips for you if you are prone to hay fever to help keep safe on the roads this summer:

  1. Only take medication which doesn’t cause drowsiness
  2. Consider getting someone else to drive if you are having a particularly bad hayfever day
  3. Consider cabin pollen filters for your make of vehicle
  4. Keep tissues close to hand
  5. Slow down and drop back if you’re about to sneeze
  6. Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight
  7. Close windows and air vents to reduce pollen grains getting into the vehicle
  8. Vacuum car mats and carpets regularly during summer, to get rid of dust

Stay cool, stay calm, drink water, rest when tired and stay safe on the roads this summer. Happy solstice!

If you need any advice regarding driving in hot weather or any other advice then just get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

Posted in Advisory.