Britain's women will be driving almost double the distance during the summer months as day trips with friends and family result in more time behind the wheel.
As the main holiday season approaches research from Halfords Autocentres has revealed that women will increase their weekly average from 77 miles to 144 miles, as they spend more time travelling due to leisure activities. A fifth of females said they will drive more than 250 miles extra during the summer.
Day trips are the main reason for the extra journeys, with 55% of women saying they will be driving for a day out with their friends and family. The most popular destinations are a trip to the coast (63%) and day out in the countryside (61%).
Half of women said they would be doing the majority of the driving on their summer road trips. However, this increased driving may lead to disappointment following a breakdown with many women failing to make basic checks such as tyre pressure, tread depth, or checking the levels of oil, water/coolant or even screenwash.
Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explained: "Summer sees women travelling double their usual distance as they leave the commute behind and hit the road in search of fun and freedom. However, an increase in driving does create a set of potential pitfalls, which can be easily avoided by a number of simple checks.
"Tyre checks can improve safety and can save drivers money on their bills by improving efficiency. Maintaining the correct water/coolant and oil levels will help avoid serious damage and a major inconvenience. Finally, we all hope for a hot summer so make sure your air conditioning is working properly too, as over time, efficiency and cooling decreases and bad smells can start to develop."
Halfords Autocentres' figures reveal that the majority of women with children are more safety conscious when the kids are in the car, with women aged 35-44 being the most likely to perform checks before setting off.
Rory added: "We see a huge increase in drivers bringing in cars for checks ahead of the winter weather, but drivers often overlook the need to ensure that their car is road trip ready for the summer.
"With the research showing that for many women this is a period where they will be spending significantly more time behind the wheel, often away from home, we recommend that they invest in ensuring safety for them and their passengers during the holidays. Having a professional make these checks needn't cost any money, Halfords Autocentres offers a range of free checks to make sure your car is ready for the open road, including; safety check, tyre check, brake check and air con check."
Before setting off on a long trip this summer, Halfords Autocentres recommend the following checks:
1) Check tyre pressures and tread
2) Check oil levels
3) Check water/coolant levels
4) Check screen wash
5) Check air conditioning
6) Make sure you're prepared for the worst; ensure you have a spare tyre and jack, relevant emergency equipment and a charged mobile phone.
Drivers should note that the legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre's width. This is easily checked using handy markers that are built into the tread, or by comparing the depth against the border of a 20p coin. For added safety drivers should consider renewing tyres when they have 3mm of remaining tread – which can decrease the stopping distance by up to eight metres in wet conditions.
To find your nearest Halfords Autocentre, find out more about our vehicle inspection services or make a booking online visit www.halfordsautocentres.com