9 Driving Tips to Keep You Safe This Christmas
Unfortunately, Christmas tends to have a strange effect on road users. The festive season brings excitement, and some drivers look to break the rules in a bid to get home to be with their families that little bit quicker. Unfortunately, we completed many bodywork repairs in January due to drivers being involved in more crashes and minor incidents. If you are planning on driving this Christmas, stay safe and use these 9 driving tips to keep you safe this Christmas.
If you intend to drink over Christmas, arrange for a taxi or ask a sober driver to help you out. On average more than 3,000 people are injured or killed in drink driving incidents every year – don’t be tempted to save a little cash and become a statistic.
Be Considerate to Other Road Users
If you are towing a trailer or driving a caravan over Christmas, consider how your driving is affecting other road users. Most drivers will appreciate that you are restricted to lower speeds, however, make sure that you are checking your mirrors and be willing to pull into hard shoulders to reduce the backlog of traffic building up behind you. It will avoid aggressive drivers and could prevent unwanted accidents.
Don’t Text and Drive
Last year alone over 370 deaths were caused by careless driving, all with mobile phones the main reason for the distraction. In 2007 the use of a mobile phone behind the wheel became a serious offence, and you can end up with a severe penalty and someone’s death on your conscience.
Get Your Vehicle Checked
Before you start to complete long distance driving over Christmas, make sure that everything is in safe, working order. It is worth booking your car in for a winter service, even if it isn’t due. It can highlight potentially dangerous areas that require action and could end up saving your life.
Keep Your Distances
Naturally, in harsher environments, the stopping distances for vehicles changes dramatically. In severe cold, icy and wet weather conditions you should look to keep a minimum of 10 car lengths away from the vehicle in front of you.
Overtaking is perfectly acceptable in dry, safe driving conditions. However, during the Christmas period, drivers tend to take more risks. Avoid overtaking where possible and wait for a suitable dual-carriageway or double-lane road.
Watch Your High Beams
We all use our high beams when driving. Make sure that you dip your lights when there is traffic and oncoming cars. Failing to lower your lights can potentially dazzle other drivers and cause avoidable incidents.
This one is pretty simple really. If you’re tired, don’t drive. If you know that you have a long drive ahead of you, make sure that you get plenty of rest in between driving.
Drive to the Conditions
Speed limits are in place for a reason. However, it isn’t always safe to drive at those speed limits. As a licensed driver, you must make the responsible decision to drive at what is considered a safe speed. If you are driving in an area that is listed as the national speed limit, but the roads are incredibly icy, simply slow down. This will have a knock-on effect and help other drivers. Be aware of other users that will be willing to risk driving at unsafe speeds.