Follow our advice to drive safely on the roads this festive season!
#1 Plan your journey
With a staggering 19 million cars hitting the road last Christmas, delays and traffic jams are inevitable. Pair that with dark, winter evenings and hyper, restless children, and your festive spirit may be tested! Therefore, it’s sensible to plan ahead to try and avoid unnecessary stints in traffic.
Before you travel, use a route planner to highlight any potential problems, and plan around them. If you have the option, turn on traffic updates on your radio and roadwork notifications on your Sat-Nav. This will help you to avoid new delays or accidents while you’re on the move.
It’s also possible to predict busy periods over Christmas, which you can avoid. The RAC estimate that 2.5 million journeys will be made by car on Thursday 19th December and 2.8 million on Friday 20th December, while a further 6.8 million will hit the roads on Boxing Day.
Therefore, if you’re planning a journey, either set off early in the morning or late in the evening: this will avoid peak traffic, expected between 11:30 and 18:30.
#2 Be prepared for bad weather
While there hasn’t been a widespread white Christmas since 2010, you should always be prepared for unexpected conditions. Winter weather is often unpredictable; snow and sleet rate slippery surfaces, while rain and dark evenings present issues with visibility.
Therefore, always check the weather forecast before you travel! If conditions look dangerous, only drive if you absolutely have to; if not, it may be worth rethinking your Christmas plans. Use your common sense and be sensible. Ensure you have warm clothing in your car in case of a breakdown, as well as a torch and some basic tools. It may even be worth keeping some water and emergency food supplies too.
#3 Stay sober on the roads
In a 2017 survey by the RAC, 16% of drivers admitted they had likely been over the limit at least during the year. This was either straight after drinking, or the morning after. While drink driving remains a serious issue all year, it is especially magnified at Christmas. We are encourage to eat, drink and be merry, but remember to be sensible with your booze!
The morning after a night out can be a dangerous situation: if you were drinking the night before, you may not be sober enough to drive the following day. Remember, on average, it takes one hour to metabolise one standard drink. Therefore, if you’ve had a heavy night on the booze, you may not be completely sober the next morning.