Keep Yourself Safe This Christmas With These 12 Driving Tips
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Keep Yourself Safe This Christmas With These 12 Driving Tips

Keep Yourself Safe This Christmas With These 12 Driving Tips
Posted in Fun On By Aaron

Motoring assistance website GEM offers 12 driving tips for the 12 days of Christmas. Keep yourself safe this holiday with these excellent tips.

GEM Motoring Assist has complied a 12-point checklist to keep yourself safe this Christmas. Many of us know the pressures of the festive season, which can be anything from being a designated driver to having to rush to the shops to get those late minute gifts bought.

It's important to remember these 12 tips to ensure that you (and other people) remain safe during the 2021 festive period.

1. Plan your journeys beforehand and book a taxi if you need to

If you're out with family or friends and you have a drink or two, it's easy to go past the point where you are too inebriated to drive, even if you think you're okay. Therefore it's always a good idea to plan your days/nights out in advance so that you don't risk driving home.

If you do drive to the venue and drink. Leave your car parked where it is and get taxi home. Don’t drive if you’re drinking, and don’t drink if you’re driving.

2. Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs

According to the website PACTS, almost a third (31%) of people who died in vehicles in 2018 were not wearing a seatbelt. Always wear your seatbelt when driving and make sure your passengers are as well to ensure their safety. Most cars these days have built-in sensors and will make a loud noise if someone isn't wearing theirs and the car is moving.

3. Keep excited children safe

Christmas is an exciting period for kids and sometimes they let their excitement get the better of them, with you sometimes getting lost in it with them. Always check the fastenings, buckles and restraints of any booster seats. If you have older children, make sure they're properly wearing their seatbelts.

4. Plan your journeys in advance and remember about changing weather and traffic

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the busiest periods on the roads. And being one of the coldest months during the Winter period, the weather can change in a flash with dangerous conditions such as ice and snow.

Always plan your journeys in advance and keep an eye on sudden changes in traffic and weather. This means slowing down in icy conditions and potentially taking a route with less traffic if there is congestion on the route you were going to take.

5. Slow down and don't rush when driving

Everyone wants to make this Christmas the perfect one for their family. So in turn they rush from place to place sorting appointments, presents and visiting friends and family.

But this can often lead to lapses in concentration, as your thoughts are preoccupied with finishing your Christmas list. And these lapses can be deadly and affect your ability to react to hazards. Slow and steady wins the race (but also gets to the destination safe!).

6. Don't drive if you feel tired

Lots of people celebrate Christmas into the early hours of the morning and it's not uncommon for there to be more traffic than usual after midnight.

However, if you feel fatigued, drowsy and sleepy, driving might be too unsafe and you will need to either stay the night (if possible) or share driving responsibilities with someone less fatigued. Fatigue can make your reaction times slower and make it more likely for accidents to happen.

An image of an Audi RS4 Avant with snowflakes and a clipart Christmas tree

7. Check to see if you can drive if you're taking medication

Some medications can make you drowsy or impair you in a way that makes driving dangerous. Make sure you check the fine print of the medication you're taking to ensure it's safe to drive. Or better yet, simply do not drive if you think the medication has made you feel drowsy or tired.

If you know you will be taking medication that affects your driving, try and arrange for someone else to drive instead.

8. Check your tyre pressures before making journeys

At Christmas, it's more common to be taxiing around friends and family. But having more people inside your car can make the car feel sluggish and heavier. Having the wrong pressure tyres can also cause them to react differently to change road conditions, as well as decrease your MPG considerably.

Make sure to check your tyre pressures before heading off this Christmas. We have a tyre pressure guide article that explains how to do this.

9. Think twice before getting an e-scooter as a gift

e-scooters seem to be all the rage lately. But you may not know that e-scooters are actually only to be used on private lands and it's illegal to use them on public roads, cycle lanes or footpaths. The e-scooters you see parked on the street are part of council/government projects and are the only ones allowed to be used in public spaces.

So unless you know a piece of private land and you have the authority to use it, steer away from e-scooters this Christmas.

10. Be careful of family distractions when driving

You may be tempted to have the most boisterous kid in the front seat next to you so you can partially keep an eye on him. But sometimes this can cause you to have lapses of concentration if they're playing up. A better option is to have them in the rear seats and have another adult keep an eye on them. 

11. Watch out for kids who are riding brand new bikes

Bicycles are a popular gift for children and one of the first things they will do is take it out in the cold Christmas winter to have a ride. Sometimes their excitement can overwhelm their judgement and they can careen straight into a busy road without thinking. So it's on us to keep an eye out for kids on bikes whilst driving. Make sure to drive slower through built-up areas.

12. New mobile phone for Christmas? Don't use it in the car

Many people will buy themselves or get gifted a brand new mobile phone this Christmas. However, make sure you only use it when not driving. You may be tempted to check out your notifications when at a red traffic light or another stopped situation, but it's illegal and the only time you can check is when you’re safely parked with the engine off and the key out.

We hope these 12 tips help you to stay safe this festive period and we hope you have a lovely Christmas from the team here at Stable Vehicle Contracts!

Established in 2009, Stable Vehicle Contracts are a UK based premium vehicle leasing company. We are part of a large, privately owned, Volkswagen and Audi dealership group with over 25 sites. Stable Vehicle Contracts has the ability to offer the very best car and commercial vehicle lease deals and thanks to our partners in the trade, we've become leaders in the supply of cars and commercial vehicles through leasing.

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