Safe Driving Over the Christmas Period
With the train network closing down early on 24th December, and not starting again until 27th December, there could be more cars than usual on the roads this Christmas. If you’re now making a journey by road that you had expected to make by rail, take a quick look at our driving home for Christmas checklist – it’s designed to keep you safe over the holiday period.
Driving Home For Christmas Checklist
If you do have to drive over the Christmas period, do a bit of planning for your journey before you start to wind down. What with turkey, festive drinks and children who never seem to go to bed, Christmas week can be a time when you’re just not thinking straight.
Here are the Country Vehicles 12 tips – one for each of the 12 days of Christmas:
1. Book a Taxi in Advance
If you’ve got an evening out planned, either find someone who doesn’t drink who’ll act as chauffeur or book a taxi in advance. The last thing you want is to be waiting around in the cold and rain.
2. Keep Children Safe
Children tend to be high on sugar and over-excited during the Christmas period. Watch them carefully as they get in the car as the normal habits of checking the road may be forgotten. And once they’re seated, double check that everyone has seatbelts on.
3. Keep an Eye on the Weather
Christmas trips to see relatives will possibly take you into areas of the UK that you’re not used to driving in. If you’re going up to Scotland, the Lake District, or Wales, check the local weather forecasts. Look out for snow, ice or heavy rain that could lead to local flooding.
4. Feeling Tired?
Christmas is a time to wash away stresses in good food and wine. And letting go often reminds you just how tired you actually are. If you’ve got a long drive ahead and you’re feeling tired – or hungover – try to share the driving or add in lots of stops for coffee.
5. Are You Still Drunk?
If you’ve had a heavy night, it may take more than a few hours’ sleep for your body to break down the alcohol you’ve consumed. Each unit of alcohol needs an hour to be broken down, and then you should add an hour to be safe. There’s a handy calculator if you’re unsure.
6. Make Some Vehicle Checks
The AA reports that there is a spike in breakdowns over the Christmas period, so it’s worth taking a few precautions before you set off:
- Check tyres.
- Are your windscreen wipers working effectively?
- Is your screen wash topped up?
- Check your oil.
7. Fill Up Before Christmas
Petrol stations keep different hours over Christmas and New Year, so it’s a good idea to check when they’re open. Filling up before Christmas means that running out of fuel is one thing you definitely don’t have to worry about.
8. Avoid Distractions
If you’ve got the whole family in the car with you, there will be all kinds of distractions. Try to ignore the arguments in the back, the ongoing entertainment, the sing-alongs – just keep focused on the road.
9. Plan in Pit Stops
It’s not only getting to your destination that matters; it’s how you get there. Arriving at your in-laws with a clutch of fractious children may not promote the season of goodwill, Give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, especially if it’s a long journey.
10. Get the Packing Right
If you’re planning on driving hours to be with family, you don’t want to arrive only to find you’ve forgotten half the presents. Put someone – not the driver – in charge of packing the car, including presents, overnight case, snacks, drinks, and things to do on the way.
11. Look Out for New Bikes, Scooters
If you’re driving on Christmas day, watch out for all those new bikes, skateboards, and scooters that could be whizzing around your neighbourhood. Their heads won’t be on safety, so make sure yours is.
12. First Day Back to Work
If you’re lucky enough to get Christmas through to the New Year as holiday. And you’ve not had to drive anywhere over the Christmas period, remember that there’s more risk of car problems on your first day back, simply because it’s been stood for so long. Check out your vehicle before you need to drive it.
About Country Vehicles in Shefford
Country Vehicles has been in its present location, just outside Shefford, since 1995. We’re an independent garage providing local garage services across South Bedfordshire. We’re a friendly team offering MOTs, vehicle servicing, diagnostics, repairs, and tyre maintenance, sales, and fitting. If you want us to look over your vehicle before you make a long trip over the Christmas break, just give us a call – and we’ll make you a cup of tea, too!
If you would like to book in a vehicle service or repairs with Country Vehicle in Shefford, call us on 01234 381555, contact us online, or simply call in.