GUIDE: How to stay safe on the road over Christmas
It's important to stay safe in the car at all times of the year, but especially during busy periods such as Christmas. During the hustle and bustle of the festive season, it can be easy to let good habits slip, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re up to speed with the best ways to keep safe.
Here's a series of safe driving tips for those heading out on the roads this Christmas:
If you’re going to be celebrating Christmas with a glass of something nice this year, remember - don't drink and drive. If you know you’re going to be having a drink then arrange alternative ways to get home. Never be tempted to get behind the wheel afterwards.
Wearing a seatbelt is the single most effective way to save your life or reduce injuries in the event of an incident. It doesn’t matter if you’re only travelling a short distance – always wear a seatbelt.
Christmas is a particularly dark time of year, with short days and very long nights. It’s why it’s important to ensure children are visible if they’re walking or cycling down dark roads – so get plenty of reflective clothing and lights. If they’re in the car, make sure they’ve got their seatbelts on correctly or are seated in a car seat properly.
A little extra planning can make the difference when travelling this Christmas. It’s never nice to get caught in traffic or bad weather, so check the route you’ll be taking and have a look at the weather reports too.
You can easily fall into the trap of rushing around during the Christmas season, particularly if you’ve got errands to run and last-minute presents to buy. However, if you find yourself doing this, take a breath and remember that it’s always safer to give yourself plenty of time and space.
Driving tired is particularly dangerous. When you’re fatigued, you take longer to react and this can prove problematic when out on the road. So if you feel tired, maybe postpone your trip or, if you’re on the move, pull over and rest.
You’re going to have to stay away from the driving seat if you’re taking medication that might make you drowsy. Combined with dark days, this can prove to be a very lethal combination, so it’s best to arrange for somebody else to drive. Drivers don’t have to be on illegal drugs to be unfit behind the wheel.
Your tyres are the one point of contact between your car and the road, so it’s a good idea to give them a once-over before heading out. Even if your car is brimmed with safety assistance equipment, this can all be undone by having poor or worn tyres fitted.
Though e-scooters are widely available on the high street at the moment, you might want to double-check if they’re a suitable gift. Remember that under current rules, e-scooters aren’t legally allowed to be used on pavements or roads and can only be ridden on private land.
Longer car journeys can often prove frustrating for all members of the family, but reducing the number of distractions can really help to keep the car safe. So make sure that you’ve got games or activities ready for kids while they’re on the move – leaving you to focus on the driving job in hand.
Bicycles are always a popular gift at Christmas – and kids tend to head out to try them during the festive period. Be extra vigilant about children coming into the road on their new bikes and make sure you slow down properly in resident
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