Christmas is the time for unbound happiness and togetherness however it is also the time to be utmost careful while sitting behind the steering wheel. With the rush of people to finish their Christmas shopping and to prepare for the upcoming festivities, you will often find yourself stuck in endless traffic, scurrying pedestrians, mindless drivers, crowded roads and rampant vehicles. Hence it is imperative to drive responsibly during the festive season.
Here we give you a list of tips you can follow to stay safe while you drive around during this holiday season.
Driving around the city
Christmas means that you might have to take multiple trips in and around the city for shopping, visiting friends and family or simply for running last minute errands. This will be the case for everyone else too and therefore you have to watch out for heavy traffic volumes and delays. You can either plan your route in advance, decide where to park your car and also keep a tab of the traffic news to understand when the flow vehicles are the least. There will be more pedestrians on the roads therefore you have to ensure that you drive carefully. Keep a safe following distance and dim your headlights when you perceive an approaching vehicle from the opposite side and try and avoid high beam if the weather is windy. Most importantly, allow yourself extra room while turning.
Many parts of UK experience snowfall during winters and driving at Christmas on salty and icy roads needs to be done carefully. If you see that the weather is getting too rough or it has become extremely foggy, pull over and wait for it to get better before you head off. Ensure that your fog lights are on when you see for building up during the day or night. Refrain from taking roads which are seldom travelled upon.
Christmas in the UK is mostly chilly with some areas experiencing light to heavy to snowfall. Before you begin driving at Christmas, ensure that your car is equipped with winter tyres and that you have your vehicle duly serviced before the onset of the festive season. Keep the vehicle fluid filled and ensure that your car’s heater and defroster are working in a proper condition. Also ensure that you have an emergency kit to combat any kind of unforeseen circumstances during the chilling weather. Keep a watchful eye on the pressure on the tires and adjust it if necessary. Ensure that the brake pads are in optimum condition.
Use seat belts when you are driving at Christmas. Remain alert while you drive and if you take frequent long journeys, ensure that you get appropriate sleep in the nights. Stop your car and take some time to stretch if you feel fatigued. Refrain from driving at odd hours such as late nights or early mornings, especially if the weather is bad. In a frenzy to do your Christmas shopping before the stores close or get to a Christmas party, you might be tempted to speed up. However, remember that the police vigilance is highly stepped up during this season and chances are that you might be handed with a speeding ticket which will definitely not be a pleasing affair. And lastly, always secure your seatbelts.
Drinking and Driving
Each year the UK Government spends a lot of money to warn the citizens against drink driving at Christmas – the occurrence of steps up in leaps and bounds. Research has revealed that alcohol consumption in the people in the UK steps up by 40% during Christmas and almost half of this population tends to drive drunk. If you have plan to drink and be merry on a certain festive night, make sure that you have vested the responsibility onto someone who has not had alcohol to drop you home safely. You could also consider designating a driver or taking a hackney. Else, make arrangements to stay back for the night.
Allow yourself a little extra time
Giving yourself some extra time ensures that you are not in a rush at the last moment and consequently avoid any kind of driving hazards which you might generally face otherwise. Also, no one likes the feeling of rushing around and therefore, we recommend you plan out a driving itinerary with time when you are driving at Christmas so that you know exactly how and when to begin your journeys and comfortably reach within the stipulated time.
Secure the Christmas tree
After you have bought your Christmas tree and intending to take it home, ensure that you securely tie it on the roof of your vehicle. If you feel that the tree is way too huge for you to able to transport it safely, seek help of a larger vehicle. Speeding at highways might loosen the ropes which you use to secure your Christmas tree and therefore, it is advisable that you do not put another driver at risk. You can rope in a friend or someone from the family to assist you when you venture out to buy the Christmas tree.
Keep your cool
Tight schedules and congested roads might take away the better of you leaving you stressed and frustrated. Such a state of mind can cause risky behavior and poor decisions behind the wheels and the most dangerous outcome is road rage. You need to ensure that you keep yourself prepared of such driving conditions during Christmas. Be calm and vigilant, keep your passengers occupied to reduce distractions and be prepared to expect what is unexpected from your fellow drivers.
Christmas is the time to be merry and seek happiness in the company of friends and family. As responsible citizens it is up to you to make the festive season a peaceful and cherished time. Stay safe and keep your near and dear ones safe and sound and when you sit behind the wheels during this time, remember that you have to be at your best and deliver your best. Have a happy Holiday season!