Christmas is one of the most magical and exciting times of the year but it’s also a time where we can lose focus and that’s never a great thing when it comes to driving. Indeed, Christmas is one of the most dangerous times to drive for several reasons.
There are not only more drivers on the road doing their seasonable shopping but the weather conditions can be quite dicey given the time of year. And that’s before you take into account all of the drink driving that tends to occur around the festive season.
So, how should you keep yourself and your family safe on the road this Christmas?
Don’t panic. We know it’s an incredibly stressful time of year but take a breath and remember that you can afford to take your time.
All journeys should be planned with military precision. Stick to the roads you know and use apps such as Google Maps to check ahead and see if there have been any incidents that you’ll need to negotiate around.
Adapt your driving
Adverse weather conditions require a certain kind of driving that’s more precise and more thoughtful. If it’s cold enough then the dreaded black ice could send you spinning and if it’s wet or icy on the roads then driving too fast can cause you to lose control. So drive softly and don’t be afraid to ride the clutch.
Carry out car checks
Get your car serviced as soon as possible. This means fuel checks, light checks, brakes, fluids and tyre checks. The latter is particularly important, as you’ll need to check your tyres to ensure they are not only the right pressure but have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm, which is the legal minimum in the UK.
This should really go without saying but when there are more people on the roads and weather conditions are far from ideal, keep it within the speed limit at all times.
Wear your seatbelt
Seatbelts are there for a reason and must be worn by law anyway.
Don’t drive or pull over if you feel tired
There’s no shame in pulling into a service station for an hour to wash your face and treat yourself to a warm tea or coffee. Or better yet, don’t drive if you don’t need to, especially if you’re feeling tired or lethargic.
Avoid drinking the night before
We know it’s the time to “be merry” but if you have a big drive the next day, try to steer clear of the mulled wine if at-all possible.
Pack an emergency kit
You’ll always have your mobile phone on you, of course. But also keep an ice scraper and anti-freeze, a spare pair of warm clothes and snacks in the car. You never know!
Don’t run out of fuel
Always make sure you have at least enough fuel in the tank to make it to either your destination or your next put stop. And remember, it’s better to have too much in the tank than too little!