Driving Dangers at Christmas – 7 Tips for a Merry Yule!
“‘Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la -” - CRASH!
Don’t let this be you!
Christmas is the best time of the year for so many people, but a lack of concentration on the road can turn it into a disaster, such as being involved in a road traffic accident, having to get a replacement car, or recover from personal injuries.
Here’s a little list of things to think of, so that you have a happy and safe time of mince pies and snowballs.
1 – Don’t Drink and Drive
What? Is it the 1990s? Do we still need to be campaigning against drinking and driving?
Unfortunately, yes. Though the problem has significantly decreased in the 21st century, the fact is that over the holiday period and into the New Year, too many people think they can just “get away with it,” or that “I’m fine, I’ve only had a little.”
Zero tolerance is the only way. Don’t drink and drive, don’t let someone you know drink and drive. Don’t let that random guy in the pub you can see staggering out drink and drive.
Oh, and don’t do the modern equivalent of drink driving either – texting while on the move. Put your phone away!
2 – Pick your driving times very carefully
The roads in the run up to Christmas can get very busy - if you can avoid potential hazards then you are going to have a much smoother (and much safer) drive.
The 20th (Thursday) and the 21st (Friday) are going to be particularly difficult on the motorways, with warnings coming in about the M40, M4, M6 and M1 on those days in particular.
Advice is to keep your driving to the evening (post 8pm) if at all possible, and to give yourself up to an hour and a half extra for your travel if going to any major city – especially London and Birmingham.
Keep an eye on the travel news – it’s worth spending 10 minutes checking out the situation before you leave to avoid potential hot spots.
3 – Check tyres, oil, water and screenwash before leaving
Spending a few moments checking your car before you get on your way helps make sure you get to your destination without an incident.
Check tyre pressure and tread, oil and water levels and make sure you are tip-top on screenwash before going (running out of screenwash on roads salted to prevent ice is a particular winter nightmare!).
For more information about being prepared before you leave, check out our article here.
4 – Drive carefully
It may snow, it’s definitely going to rain, there will be windy conditions.
Driving in the winter isn’t as relaxed as summer jaunts. Make sure you are properly alert and ready for the drive ahead that may be longer than you are used to (due to the volume of cars on the road as well as weather conditions) and be willing to stop and take a break if you need to.
Leave in plenty of time and don’t rush!
5 – Have breakdown cover
If you don’t already have a membership with the AA, RAC or other breakdown organisation, then get it in advance of driving.
Joining these services during an emergency is very expensive, and it pays to get in before you have no choice.
Breaking down on your way to getting to Mum’s for Christmas can completely ruin your holiday – especially if there are kids in the car. Imagine how much worse it’ll be if it comes with a staggering bill and extra-long wait?
Have the cover in place at least 24 hours before a long drive.
6 – Watch out for falling presents and tired reindeer on Christmas Eve
That Santa bloke isn’t getting any younger and the amount he has to drink on the night to keep everyone happy means he’s probably breaking rule number 1 before 3pm. Give him a break though (and a wide berth), he’s working hard!
7 – Have a very merry Christmas and stay safe
It’s the rule!
From everyone here at Non-Fault Claims, we wish you a great Christmas. If you are the unfortunate victim of a road traffic accident, then give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to make the incident a minor blip and not a terrible end to the year.