Summer – A time when we all love to take a trip to the beach, countryside, theme park, zoo or to visit friends and family.
However, this year is set to be a very busy summer on the roads.
Due to an increase in holidays being taken in the UK, calls for assistance to the entire recovery industry are significantly higher than in the summer months before Covid -19.
According to the Office of National Statistics, UK residents made 9.4 million visits overseas in August 2019. Due to unpredictable travel restrictions overseas, a large majority of UK residents are now taking their holidays in the UK, which is in addition to millions of residents who would normally take their holiday in the UK.
This places an even greater summer demand on Recovery Operators based in areas such as the popular South West counties of England – Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Dorset.
As well as taking steps to ensure your vehicle is in the best possible condition, we also advise packing some essential items in your vehicle when you venture out on the roads this summer.
Packing these items in your car when driving in summer will help make your summer car journeys more bearable should you get stuck in traffic or have the unfortunate experience of breaking down.
Staying hydrated is essential, especially in summer, so pack more water than you think you’ll need.
Have at least one water bottle for each person in the car and extra bottles for emergencies.
Traffic jams and breakdowns can happen anywhere at any time.
Having snacks in the car on your summer trips will help to ensure that you do not suffer from hunger should you find yourself suffering a long delay on your journey with no shops in sight.
We all know that the British weather is unpredictable, so we advise packing for all weather conditions on your summer drives.
If you break down you should always safely exit your vehicle. However, you could find that it’s not possible to seek shade at your breakdown location.
Having suncream in your car will help you to avoid getting burnt.
With summer comes an increase in insects and of course with that, the potential of insect bites.
Insect bites can be painful so carry insect repellent with you in your vehicle.
Investing in a USB phone charger or portable power bank can be a godsend.
Should you experience a breakdown, ensuring that your phone has enough power to call for a vehicle breakdown recovery service is vital.
At Start Rescue, we will also provide regular updates as to the estimated recovery time so having access to a charged phone in the event of a breakdown is important in keeping you up-to-date.
If you’re heading to see friends or family you’ll also be able to give them a call to provide them with an update of your situation – although we do offer a free messaging service (2 messages) as part of your breakdown cover.
Wet Wipes and Tissues
Carrying wet wipes and tissues in your vehicle is helpful to clean oily hands should you need to check under the bonnet for any reason or if you need to change a tyre.
Carrying a hat in your vehicle on journeys will enable you to protect your head from the sun’s rays while waiting for breakdown recovery assistance.
Having an umbrella to hand in your vehicle has double advantages. Not only can it protect you from getting wet in a summer shower but you can also use it to shade yourself from the sun at the roadside in the event of a breakdown or accident.
The temperature can drop dramatically when the sun sets.
If you’re driving in the early evenings, carrying a blanket in your car will help keep you warm if your vehicle breaks down after dusk.
Shorts and t-shirt or a dress might have been your choice of attire for the day but as it gets cooler in the evening, having additional clothing - jumpers, coats or trousers - in your vehicle can ensure you can stay warm at the roadside.
Torch / Flashlight
A torch/flashlight can be a useful addition to pack for your summer car journeys.
Should you break down in the dark, the torch will be handy for seeing underneath your bonnet or vehicle chassis.
It can also be used as a source of light to help you see when changing a tyre in the dark.
If you need to leave your vehicle in the event of a breakdown or accident, a torch can help you to navigate the terrain and avoid any obstacles when moving to a safe place to wait for assistance.
High Vis / Reflective Jacket
Unlike many other European countries, it is not a legal requirement to carry these items in your vehicle in the UK. However, doing so can be very beneficial to the safety of you, your passengers and your vehicle.
Should you find your vehicle immobilised due to a breakdown or accident, wearing a high vis / reflective jacket can help to ensure that other drivers can see you at the roadside.
A warning triangle can also help to ensure that you and your vehicle are seen by other motorists.
You should place the warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road. (Please note: As per the Highway Code, you should not use warning devices such as warning triangles on motorways).
Start Rescue will continue to provide the best possible service to our customers throughout the summer. However, ensuring that you have these essentials with you on your journeys this summer will help to make you as comfortable as possible whilst waiting for breakdown assistance or assistance in the event of an accident.
With the increase in car usage and isolation rules now also affecting many industries, we hope you will understand and will bear with us if you experience a delay during such a very busy time of year for the whole of the UK.