If you are visiting family and friends this Christmas you’ll need to take extra care on the roads. Heavy traffic, poor weather, and too much ‘Christmas cheer’ all contribute to making the festive season dangerous for drivers. To help ensure that you arrive safely we recommend the following holiday driving tips:
- Pack your presents carefully and securely in the boot. If you have to brake suddenly, or are involved in an accident, flying object can cause serious injury.
- Pack an ‘emergency kit’ in case you are unexpectedly stranded in the cold. Make sure you include a torch, blankets, warm clothes, boots and something sweet to drink. It’s a good idea to include a shovel if you have enough space.
- Check your oil, battery, fuel, lights and tyres before setting off. Remember that most garages will be closed over the holiday season except for emergency call-outs.
- Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, and has credit, so that you can ‘phone a friend’ if you get stuck.
- Keep the car heater running and don’t let your windows freeze-up. If your windows are frozen use a scraper or de-icer; boiling water might be a tempting shortcut, but you’ll end-up with a cracked windscreen.
- It’s easy to run out of windscreen washer fluid on dirty winter roads; so make sure you have some spare in the boot.
- Leave early so that if you do get into difficulty, or caught in a jam, you won’t be in a mad panic.
- Check weather and road reports before setting out, and consider rescheduling your trip if it’s looking grim.
For more road seasonal safety tips we have written a guide to driving in winter