Driving home for Christmas

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, gives eight points of advice on driving home for Christmas.

  1. Try and avoid setting off at peak times which includes early afternoon on Christmas Eve as this is when many motorists will start their journey. With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, try to travel on a different day.
  2. If travelling a long distance then take into consideration that the weather in one region may not be the same as another. So plan for the whole length of the journey and take note of what the weather is like closer to your destination.
  3. Before setting off, make sure friends and family know where you are going and your expected time of arrival.
  4. Packing the car sensibly. Make a check list of everything and try to ensure there are no loose parcels that could turn into missiles in the event of having to brake in an emergency.
  5. Family pets pick up on the excitement of Christmas; remember they need seatbelts or a method of restraint too.
  6. Make sure to take regular rest breaks but avoid leaving valuable gifts on show by locking them away out of sight in the boot.
  7. If too tired to drive then delay the journey and take breaks on the journey if fatigued.
  8. If the office party went on into the early hours then make sure to not be over the limit ‘the morning after’.

Richard said, ‘Careful planning and preparation can ensure your Christmas drive home is a safe and smooth one. So long as you give yourself extra time at this busy time of year, your journey home doesn’t need to be as arduous.’