As families across the country prepare for their bank holiday outings, Green Flag is predicting that up to 36,000 car breakdowns will occur over the course of the weekend (Saturday to Monday). This translates to a staggering eight breakdowns per minute.
With motorists keen to take advantage of the long weekend, Britain is braced for additional breakdowns on the road. A combination of tyre related issues, flat batteries and faulty brake pads alone are set to cause problems to 497 drivers every hour.
Simon Henrick, Head of News at Green Flag said: “The bank holiday is a time for people to come together with their family and friends and enjoy their well-deserved time off, particularly when the weather is good. However, the hot weather also puts a strain on several key components in vehicles.
“At Green Flag, we’re committed to helping drivers stay safe and avoid breakdowns where possible. Many problems can be avoided by following simple steps such as ensuring vehicles are thoroughly inspected before embarking on a long journey. This becomes even more important when it gets hotter, when preparing for your journey is essential.”
In order to help drivers reach their destinations safely, Green Flag has released the following common sense tips:
Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential trouble, especially tyres and lights
Check tyre pressures, spare included
Check all fluid levels and top up if necessary
Make sure you have breakdown cover. If you’re travelling abroad make sure your cover extends to your trip away. If it doesn’t, you may need to arrange separate cover
Keep a road map in the car so you’ll be able to explain where you are when you call for help.
Don’t rely on the map on your phone – you won’t always have signal
Keep some coins or a phonecard in the car in case you need to call for help and there’s no mobile phone signal
Make sure your phone battery is topped up – think about buying an in-car charger just in case you need it
Have the number for your emergency breakdown provider handy – you’ll usually find it on your policy certificate so you could keep this in the glove box
Carry a red warning triangle at all times
Always keep some warm clothes, a rug and some chocolate in the car in case you get stuck in cold conditions for a long time
With the bank holiday set to be the hottest on record, Green Flag has also issued a number of hot weather driving tips to stay safe in soaring temperatures:
Make sure you have lots of coolant – A common cause of engine overheating is low coolant. To avoid this, drivers should make sure the radiator is full of coolant, and that it has the correct mix of antifreeze and water
Make sure your coolant isn’t past its sell by date – Coolant has a lifespan, and once it’s over it it’s not any use. Coolant that is past its sell by date will cause more harm than good. It may leave deposits in the car’s engine and radiator that can lead to poor coolant flow
Turn off air con when driving at slower speeds – When driving at slower speeds drivers are advised to turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows. When driving below 50MPH, engines have to work harder to pump out cool air and could run the risk of burning excess fuel
Don’t overload your vehicle – When heading out in hot weather, cars often get overloaded with luggage and other items, but to help avoid breakdowns, drivers should limit the amount they pack. Overloading the car boot means the car has to work harder and will use more fuel