Whether you like the song or not, the driving bit can be problematic sometimes. We all need to make sure the Christmas shopping is done (it is nearly December, let this be a reminder) but we also need to remember some things about being on the road. So what do you need to remember when you are driving home for Christmas?
We want to make sure you stay safe, so we have put some tips together below for you!
No one wants to break down but over Christmas it is doubly annoying. Waiting at the side of a cold snowy road with a Christmas tree on the roof makes for depressing viewing.
To make sure that you are covered if you do break down, make sure you have breakdown assistance. At VM Vehicle Maintenance, we offer breakdown cover as part of our service contracts. This means if you grind to a halt over Christmas- we can help! Where Christmas presents are concerned though, you are on your own there.
Making sure your vehicle is ready for the cold means you can drive around knowing you will be driving home for Christmas rather than stuck in a layby. Tyre tread depth is especially important to give you good contact on slippery roads.
That is something else we can offer at VM Vehicle Maintenance as part of our service contract- so you have the peace of mind you are driving your vehicle at its best.
By law, you need to have a suitable car seat for any passenger under the age of 12 (or under 135cm tall). If you are driving children or grandchildren around this Christmas- make sure they are buckled up and ready to go.
Do not drink drive. It is as simple as that. The best way to make sure you are not over the limit is to not drink at all. In December 2018, over 4,500 drivers landed themselves with a conviction for drink-driving. For something as stupid as that, you can end up with a fine, a driving ban or even prison time.
For England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the limit for drinking is 80mg per 100ml of blood but for Scotland it is 50mg per 100ml. You cannot predict how much alcohol your body can take to be under the limit, so there is no rule for how many drinks you can have to drive.
If you do want a drink over the Christmas holidays- do not drive. Get a taxi, get a designated driver or stick to the lemonade.
Poor Weather Conditions
When you are driving on icy roads, stopping distances can be as much as 10 times longer. That means that you have to be extremely careful when you are out on the road- reduce your speed and make sure you leave lots of space between you and other drivers around you.
Wherever you can, avoid driving in the bad weather but if you have to- keep some de-icer and an ice scraper with you at all times.
That means leaving enough time before you set off to clear all your windows too so you do not end up rushing because you are late.
If it gets a bit hectic over Christmas, you will probably be feeling the tiredness. The combination of tiredness and being behind the wheel is a dangerous combination. According to road safety charity Brake, 17% of crashes on major roads which result in injury or death can be attributed to tiredness.
Being behind the wheel when you are tired is comparable to drink-driving as it slows your reaction times and puts you at greater risk of crashing.
Making a trip to relatives around the country? Make sure you get a good sleep and take regular breaks when you start your trip- ideally 20 minute breaks every 2 hours. This way you should stay as fresh as possible.
It is not a legal requirement for you to carry emergency supplies in your car. But it is also not a legal requirement to wear a raincoat when it rains- we recommend it.
The best supplies to take are: a blanket; extra layers of clothing; water; food; a torch; a first-aid-kit; a spade; a warning triangle; and a hi-vis jacket. Carrying these items means you will have a better chance of being prepared for all eventualities- breakdowns and all.
What Can We Do To Help?
We want to make sure that you are prepared for the winter and your vehicle is as safe as it can be when you go out onto the winter roads. We can help with our VM Vehicle Maintenance contracts, to make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving. If you would like some more information about you can be better prepared- visit our Van Driver Toolkit.
As always, thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon!