Whether you are making like Chris Rea and driving home for Christmas, travelling away for the New Year or heading cross country to watch the football on Boxing Day, the majority of us will be driving a considerable distance this festive season. At Cox Motor Parts we want to make sure you are as safe on the roads as possible, so here are our top tips to consider before a long drive.
Tiredness Can Kill
There is good reason this awareness campaign runs all year long and it is because one fifth of motorway accidents in the UK are caused because of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Whether you are fully rested or not, it is important to take regular breaks if you are driving a considerable distance.
For example, if you are driving around 4 hours, try breaking it up with one break half way. The most likely people to fall asleep at the wheel are males aged 18-30, so try not to cut corners, especially if you or your driver is a younger male.
If you are planning a very long journey with a friend or family member who can also drive, why not consider taking turns at the wheel, perhaps swapping round after every couple of hours. Other precautions you can take include drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee or pulling over for a short nap.
Planning Your Journey
Aside of scheduling a nap or driver swap-over, there are a couple of things to check, especially at this time of year, before you embark on a lengthy journey. The first is of course to check the traffic.
There is always a couple of days during the festive season where seemingly everyone is taking to the roads for one reason or another, which inevitably leads to accidents. The last thing you need on a long journey is to be held up in traffic, so check ahead for any updates and find yourself another route well ahead of the traffic jam.
As lovely as we al agree it looks, snow can make driving extremely difficult. Its best to avoid bad weather as much as possible, so its best to check the forecast way ahead of setting off. If it is due to snow or rain particularly heavy, perhaps try planning the majority of driving around the worst of it.
Prepping Your Car
It is always best to prepare for the worst during winter, because no mater how recently you had your car checked, something could always go wrong. Give your car a once over before setting off, checking all the vitals like fluid levels, wipers, tyres and lights. With the absolute worst case scenario in mind, prepare an emergency bag packed with all the things needed to keep you warm and safe if you are unlucky enough to have a breakdown. The bag can include:
– Bottled water (for you and the car)
– High energy snacks like chocolate
– High visibility jacket
– Warm coat/thermals
– Portable phone charging kit
– Jump leads
– Tow rope
– Torch and batteries
For more information on checking your over winter see this blog post.
Enjoy The Festivities
Its hard to enjoy a long-distance car journey no matter what time of year it is, so you’ve just got to make the most of it. Why not make your journey as festive as possible, packing a hamper full of Christmassy snacks, listening to all of your favourite Christmas tracks and even playing Christmas travel games like word association.
Wherever you are heading make sure you take all the possible safety measures you can this festive period. Christmas is the time we all come together to enjoy ourselves, so lets hope we can keep it that way and spend as little time on the roads as possible.