Everyone is in a hurry to wrap up the stresses of their Christmas shopping and enjoy the festive celebrations, but as you are dashing around town it is important to keep road safety at the forefront of your mind.
As the roads are busier and drivers become more distracted by their seemingly never ending ‘Christmas to-do lists’ drivers are often faced with dangerous winter conditions in the UK.
The festive season also often involves alcohol – and plenty of it!
Here are a few friendly tips from My Car Credit to ‘Safe Driving’ this Christmas…
Don’t ‘Drink and Drive’ this Christmas
Drink driving is a major factor to road accidents and road deaths in the UK. If you are going to your Christmas party this year and are planning to join the festivities which include a drink or two, or three, or four – don’t drive. Leave your car at home.
Book a hotel, plan a safe alternative to get home such as a taxi or find a designated ‘no drinking’ driver beforehand.
The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, but this is hard to judge after you’ve had a drink. Units of alcohol also differs for men and women. The NHS recommended alcohol unit limit for men is 3-4 per day and 2-3 units per day for women.
Did you know that even in the morning after you have slept you could still be drunk and well over the limit for driving?
Also if you have a hangover, you won’t be able to drive at your full ability either. And you can still get pulled over and made to take a breathalyser test the next day.
You can find out more about how drinking affects your body with this handy calculator.
The UK weather is so unpredictable around Christmas time
Even if the roads have been gritted, a blizzard can cover them in snow again in an instant, meaning dramatically reduced grip and increased braking distances.
If it starts to snow heavily, head back home or try and find a safe place to stop until conditions improve. The alternative – being stuck – is much worse….
One of the biggest dangers of driving over Christmas can be black ice. You won’t know it’s there until your car is sliding out of control, so remember to adjust your speed to the road and the conditions – use your car’s outside temperature gauge as a guide if it has one.
This goes hand-in-hand with extra care and focus in built-up areas. Pedestrians reveling in the festive spirit could be more unpredictable, and with braking distances potentially increased due to rain, snow, ice, or even grit salt used to thaw it out, you might not be able to stop in time to avoid them.
As well as yourself, keep your car safe this Christmas too!
The combination of cold weather and the approach of Christmas sends shoppers to local shopping centres and supermarkets. Don’t let your car become a target for thieves while you are out doing your Christmas shopping!
Park your vehicle in a well-lit and open area – ideally a CCTV protected car park.
Keep all valuables, including presents out of sight – if the boot is full, try to store items out of sight elsewhere in the car.
Steering locks serve as an effective deterrent; if you have one, be sure to secure it whenever you leave your vehicle.
Remove all traces of your satnav, including cradles and tell-tale ring marks on the windscreen.
Check you have locked the car before you walk away – it’s all too easy to think you have done it when there’s something not properly secured.