One of the best things about the Christmas period is spending time with family and friends and visiting family members who live around the country. This means plenty of time on the road, and with the time of year that’s in it, you need to take care with the weather and situations you’ll be driving through.
As you set off on your merry way, make sure to keep the following in mind:
Plan your journey
Roads tend to be busy during the festive season, with drivers eager to reach their destination so remember to give yourself extra time to complete your journey. If you are taking a route that you aren’t familiar with, have the directions ready. If travelling with others, elect somebody to be in charge of directions. This can be a great way to keep the kids entertained throughout the journey!
We know how busy the lead up to Christmas can be, it’s a tiring time thanks to busy days in work, late nights attending parties and trying to squeeze in last minute shopping trips. This, combined with an increased amount of time spent in your car, can leave you feeling exhausted. If you feel groggy or sleepy when driving it is very important that you pull over, drink a coffee and have a 15-minute rest.
There is no journey urgent enough for you to risk your safety and the safety of others. Driver fatigue is attributed to as much as 1 in 5 deaths in Ireland every year1 and according to the RSA, driving when very tired is as dangerous as driving over the drink driving limit.
We’re all guilty of buying more Christmas presents and treats than we had planned, and this often results in the car being jam-packed. Be sure to pack your car in a way that doesn’t obstruct any of your visibility and windows.
Prepare for the weather
December weather can be erratic in Ireland, and adverse conditions can really make driving more difficult. Always check the weather forecast at www.met.ie and be prepared for your journey ahead. Read our guidelines to check if your car is winter ready here.
The inner child in us all secretly hopes for a white Christmas but driving in ice or snow can be particularly dangerous, so be sure to read our safety tips here.
Remember, in these conditions, only drive if absolutely necessary. For our safety tips for driving in floods and heavy rain, just click here.
Fill up on fuel
Although there are some service stations open on Christmas day, don’t take the chance of leaving yourself short of petrol. Fill your tank before your journey and mark it off your list.
Time and Space
When driving it is very important to create adequate time and space around your vehicle so that you are in control of your environment as much as possible. To read more on this driving principle click here.
Keeping the kids entertained
Keep the chorus of ‘are we there yet?!’ to a minimum with the following tips:
- Collection or playlist of Christmas songs to sing along to
- Colouring books, crosswords and magazines
- Take a guess at Santa’s sleigh route and what snacks he’ll eat in each country
- Fully charged iPads or laptops to watch Christmas movies and cartoons!
So, turn up the heating in your car, pop on some Christmas songs and have a happy, healthy and safe Christmas, from Aviva.