Driving home for Christmas: winter driving tips  

christmas drivingChristmas is one of the busiest times of the year on the country’s roads and seasonal cheer is sometimes in short supply. Heavy traffic and adverse weather can take the sparkle out of a festive road trip, but with the right planning you can have a safe and stress-free journey:

Be Prepared Every winter there are stories of unlucky motorists getting stuck in the snow; so don’t think it won’t happen to you. Pack an ‘emergency kit’ with clothes and blankets to keep you warm and snacks and a hot drink to keep your spirits up.

Smooth Operator Driving safely in wintery conditions is all about anticipating the road ahead, leaving plenty of room, and accelerating and braking gently.

Weather Watching As a nation it’s said that we are obsessed with the weather, but with climatic conditions changing every five minutes it’s hardly a great surprise. Check the weather forecast before setting-off, both in your hometown and where you are heading.

Vehicle Check Your car has to work much harder in the winter months and it pays to make sure that it’s up to the job. Flat batteries are one of the most common causes of callouts and can be easily avoided by checking your charge. When driving in challenging conditions it’s essential to ‘see and be seen’, so make sure that you’ve got plenty of screen wash and that all your lights are working.

Out of Sight Thieves work overtime at Christmas and lovingly-wrapped presents make very tempting targets; so make sure they are stored securely in the boot.

Get Covered Statistics show that breakdowns are more common in the colder months and getting stranded on the hard shoulder is guaranteed to ruin Christmas. Breakdown cover from Quoteline Direct costs just £59.00 a year and covers everything from Home Assistance to Roadside Recovery.

Tiredness Kills The run-up to Christmas can be hectic and it’s easy to knock your body clock out of sync. Lack of sleep can seriously impair your judgement and motoring organisations recommend driving in daylight hours and sharing time behind the wheel.

Under Pressure A car full of passengers and a boot full of presents means more weight and you may need to top-up your tyre pressure before setting-off.

Driven to Distraction With Christmas just around the corner excitement mounts and tempers shorten; so make sure you’ve got plenty of ways to keep little backseat passengers busy.

Traffic Report Real-time updates from smartphones and sat navs mean you’re less likely to get stuck in a jam and can plan a new route if there are signs of trouble ahead.

Leave Early To avoid making poor decisions when running late just set-off a little earlier and sidestep the panic.

High Spirits Every motorist knows that drinking and driving don’t mix. If you’re going out to a Christmas party take a taxi, not a gamble, and be very wary of driving the day after the night before.



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