Tips for a safe road trip this summer

 by Melanie May | 3 min read     July 1st, 2021

The sunny weather is here and summer holidays are just around the corner!

With a grand stretch in the evenings and Covid 19 restrictions easing, now is the perfect time to start planning some summer staycations. Road trip anyone? 

To help your journey go as smoothly as possible, we’ve compiled our top tips for a safe road trip this summer.

Grab your shades, set up the sat-nav, and let’s buckle up for a journey of adventure.

Before you go:

No doubt some of the important aspects of your road trip — the playlist and pit stops — are sorted. But have you prepped your car?

Pump up the pressure

If you plan on fully loading your car with passengers, luggage and the kitchen sink, then it’s important to adjust your tyre pressure according to manufacture guidelines. Properly inflated tyres are of the utmost importance for road safety and also helps with fuel efficiency. Read more on the importance of tyre care here.

Check fluid levels

Cars are more thirsty in hot weather as fluids evaporate quicker in the heat. At a minimum, check oil levels and fill up the screen wash. Use a good quality screen wash as this will degrease and remove bugs from your windscreen.

Wipe the windscreen

Grease and smears on the inside of the windscreen scatter light making it harder to see the road ahead when the sun hits the glass. Use a simple solution of vinegar and water, or glass cleaner, to make the windscreen gleam.

Change air filter

Although not essential, changing the air filter is a good idea if any of your passengers suffer from hay fever. Closing the air vents will also reduce the amount of pollen infiltrating the cabin.

Check your discs

Make sure your car tax, NCT disc and motor insurance are all up to date. You don’t want your staycation ruined by a hefty fine and penalty points because you forgot to renew.

Temporarily add a co-driver

Sharing the driving on a long road trip is a great way to reduce driver fatigue and improve road safety. You’ll also arrive at your destination refreshed and rearing to go. You can add an additional driver to your Allianz car insurance for the duration of your staycation.* Find out more about adding an additional driver for your road trip here.

*Allianz will provide up to 30 days cover free of charge if a driver is over 25 years of age, is claims/convictions free and holds a full driving licence.

Map out your driving route

There are some epic driving roads around Ireland, such as the Healy Pass from Cork to Kerry! You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to scenic driving routes.

Before you set off, make sure you set your destination into your car’s sat-nav or on a map app on your phone. Look at the route to check for any diversions, heavier than usual traffic or roadworks. There are plenty of websites where you can do this if you don’t have a sat-nav. Going old-school? A handy road map of Ireland will help you plan the best driving route to your staycation destination. 

On the road:

Wear your shades

The bright sunshine of the summertime is a big driving hazard. The quickest way to reduce glare is to use your sun visors. However, you should also wear a good pair of sunglasses when driving. These will not only reduce the brightness but will also protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.

Reduce motion sickness

If you or your passengers feel nauseous, have a headache, feel dizzy or vomit, you might be suffering from car sickness. A quick and easy way to relieve these symptoms is to switch seats. Whoever is in the driver seat is usually less susceptible to car sickness than the passengers. The front passenger seat is the second-best seat. 

Drink Water

It’s important to keep hydrated as you drive as this helps keep you alert and regulates your body temperature in the warmer weather. Get a metal water bottle and cool bag or ice-box to keep the water cooler for longer. We also highly recommend plenty of pit-stops for ice pops.

Take regular breaks

Driver fatigue is deadly! It is important to stop and take regular breaks from driving. If you are travelling solo, take a break at least every two hours and get out of the car and stretch your legs if it is safe to do so. If you have a road trip buddy, share the driving between you.

Enjoy the journey

One of the best things about road trips is how much more flexible they make journeys. So go ahead, stop at the quirky roadside cafe. Have an impromptu picnic by the lake. Pull into the rest stop and admire the view. Road trips are fun. So, soak up the endless horizon, rolling scenery and total freedom of the open road.

Send us a postcard!

This guidance is for general information purposes only.

Melanie May
Journalist @thejournal_ie & @CompleteCar | Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager | Travel Blogger | Food Writer & Judge