RAC encounters big increase in RTAs and cars 'boiling over'
The RAC is warning motorists that the heatwave is causing havoc for some drivers with vehicle cooling systems in melt down and an unexpected 44% rise in road traffic accidents.
RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Pete Williams said: “As the temperature gauge continues to knock on 30 degrees across many parts of the UK we saw a 23% increase in issues with vehicle cooling systems yesterday. These ranged from cars overheating to broken fans and problems with air con systems.
“We also received many calls from drivers who were caught out when their electric roof or sunroof jammed or failed to open and many more with problems with their electric windows.
“We also received a high volume of calls from drivers who found pools of water under their vehicles. This can be a particular cause for alarm but at times of high temperatures when the air con has been working overtime the unit freezes as it takes moisture out of the car and then when the car is parked this ice melts causing a puddle. The advice is to check whether this is simply odourless water or if it has coolant in and a clear smell and colour. If it is the former then there should be no need to worry.”
The RAC is gearing up to cope with increased breakdown demand as we head into one of the busiest weekends of the year as schools break up. RAC research points to 14.4 million cars heading off on their summer holidays from Thursday to Sunday – 5.6 million more than the same weekend in 2015. Saturday will be the busiest with an anticipated 4.5 million cars using major routes.
Williams said: “A 44% increase in road traffic accidents is a major cause for concern. There may be a wide variety of reasons for this including the increased volumes of traffic, bright evening sunshine causing glare and a distraction for drivers but we expect the biggest factor can be attributed to driver fatigue, heat exhaustion and frustration.
“So it is really important to leave plenty of time for your journey, take breaks and keep well hydrated. This is particularly an issue when the hot weather makes getting a good night’s sleep a challenge.”
The RAC advises motorists to make sure their cars are well prepared too. Carrying out some simple checks before you set out, especially if you are planning on travelling a long distance, can prevent an unwanted breakdown. The best advice is to check oil, coolant and washer fluid levels and ensure all tyres have plenty of tread. And, with Mediterranean temperatures forecast for the coming week make sure you pack plenty of refreshments for you and your passengers.
Notes to Editors
The press office email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: the press office is unable to help with individual customer enquiries - please visit the RAC contacts page to find the right contact.
ISDN radio studio facilities are available for interviews Monday to Friday.
About the RAC
The RAC provides complete peace of mind to 12m UK private and business drivers, whatever their motoring needs. Its services include:
- Breakdown assistance. Its highly-skilled, 1,600-strong branded patrol workforce attends more than two million breakdowns every year, fixing on average four out of five vehicles at the roadside. The RAC’s patrol fleet is one of the most advanced in the UK, and was the first to roll out both an All-Wheels-Up recovery system, allowing the vast majority of vehicles to be recovered from a single patrol van, and EV Boost mobile electric vehicle charging units
- Insurance. The RAC is a top-five car insurance broker having surpassed the 500,000 policies-in-force milestone in 2018. It also offers ‘black box’ telematics policies, as well as home and travel insurance
- Other motoring services. The RAC leads in the development of new solutions for business, fleets, electric vehicles and future car technology. Its additional products and services include a personal loans offering, a used car buying website, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information. It also has a network of Approved Dealers and Approved Garages which combine the trust of RAC brand with local service and convenience
The RAC also works to support the interests of its members and UK drivers on the most important motoring issues which it identifies via the annual RAC Report on Motoring and the RAC Opinion Panel. The Report on Motoring is the longest running analysis of driver opinion in the UK having been published every year since 1989.
For more information about the RAC, visit the RAC website.