Driving home for Christmas

5 ways to stay safe when driving this christmas

You’ve submitted your final assignment, packed up your student room and are heading home for a few weeks over the festive period. It’s time to de-stress and unwind, whilst tucking into as many mince pies as you can manage.

Before you set off, have you thought about your journey? Whether you’re just popping out to the shops or making a three hour journey home, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for driving in winter weather conditions. We’ve put together five tips to keep you safe when driving this Christmas.

1. Slow down

Check the weather conditions before setting off in your car. If it’s been raining, you’ll need to allow more time when braking. Whether it’s windy, dark, or snowing outside, chances are you’ll need to drive a little bit slower to ensure you have a safe journey.

2. Pac-a-mac

We hope it never happens, but the sad truth is that cars can break down. If you end up on the side of the motorway waiting for roadside assistance, it might be very cold and very dark. Be prepared and pop a few extra bits into the boot of your car – a warm coat, high-vis jacket and a torch will all come in handy if the unexpected happens. Don’t forget your phone charger in case you need to make an emergency call - make sure you pull over to do so though.

3. Check your tyres

Cars need a bit of TLC during the winter months as well. Before setting off, ensure that the tyre pressure is correct, the oil has been topped up and you’ve got enough fuel for your journey. Why not check your break lights are working with one of your housemates? It will only take a few minutes and can save you from a potential fine.

4. Check your insurance and break down cover

When was the last time you checked your car insurance? It’s worth spending ten minutes to make sure you are happy with the level of cover you have. A lot of insurance companies also offer breakdown cover as an add-on - so if anything does happen to your vehicle on your journey or at home, you’ll have someone to the rescue you in no time.

5. Plan your journey time

If Christmas dinner will be on the table for 7pm, give yourself plenty of time for a safe journey home. What might usually be a 30 minute journey could be twice as long with all of the additional Christmas traffic. Don’t put pressure on yourself to drive from A to B in a short amount of time – it’s better to arrive half an hour early (that way you can sample the roast potatoes beforehand).

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