Posted: Mon 24th Jun 2024

Hot weather alert: AA issues car safety tips for drivers

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

With the current spell of hot weather expected to last for the next few days, the AA has reiterated its warning not to leave children or pets in unattended vehicles, even for short periods.

The reminder comes as the UK faces soaring temperatures, prompting safety concerns for vulnerable car occupants.

AA research shows that drivers carrying children and pets have become increasingly aware of the dangers of their cars becoming ovens on hot days. Despite this heightened awareness, the AA continues to rescue car occupants locked in dangerously hot vehicles up to five times a day.

“Be aware of the dangers and never leave children, the elderly, and animals in overheated vehicles. Be smart and plan journeys accordingly,” said Edmund King, AA President.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued yellow heat warnings for the early part of this week.

Though Wales does not generally use the same heat warning system, temperatures in Deeside will mirror the ‘heat-health’ alert issued in England for counties such as neighbouring Cheshire.

In response to the hot weather, the AA offers the following advice to drivers:

  • Plan journeys for cooler parts of the day if travelling with vulnerable occupants.
  • Carry extra water, at least one litre per person, and means to create shade, such as sun screens or towels.
  • Keep the vehicle well-ventilated and seek shaded areas, like covered car parks, for waiting.
  • Ensure car keys remain on the driver’s person to avoid being locked out.
  • Check tyre pressures during cooler times of the day and be diligent with vehicle cooling systems.

Following the extreme heat of 2022, the AA surveyed 2,538 of its members who transport dogs in their cars. The survey revealed:

  • 22.5% were very concerned about transporting their dogs during the hot summer of 2022.
  • 42.2% are taking more in-car precautions to protect their animals.
  • 28.2% have decided not to carry their dogs in extreme temperatures.
  • 18.4% were convinced by the 2022 heatwave not to transport their dogs in hot weather.
  • 35.3% will decide on long-distance travel based on the heat and their safety concerns for their dogs.
  • 65.1% have become more careful when walking their dogs on hot surfaces.

Edmund King advised: “High temperatures can be dangerous if you break down or get stuck in congestion. Ensure you have enough fuel or electric charge to keep your air-conditioning running. Severe heat could cause considerable problems for many older vehicles without air-conditioning or recent servicing, with both the car and occupants overheating. Driving outside the hottest part of the day is advisable.”

He added: “Be aware of the dangers and never leave children, the elderly, and animals in overheated vehicles. Be smart and plan journeys accordingly, keep car keys on your person, and be prepared should you have to stop for an extended period in the sun.”

“If your car breaks down when temperatures are high, it’s even more important than usual that we get to you as quickly as we can. The quickest way for our members to report a breakdown is through the AA breakdown app. Knowing your exact location is vital to us, so downloading the what3words app and reporting your unique w3w location can help us reach you faster. Try to wait in the shade in a safe place.”

King concluded by emphasizing the importance of hydration: “Carry plenty of water – at least one litre per person travelling. Keeping yourself and other occupants hydrated can help lower body temperatures in hot weather. If the worst should happen, you can keep yourself and those with you topped up with cool water while waiting for help to arrive.”

 

[Photo: https://depositphotos.com/]

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