Driving home for Christmas – it’s a time of the year that is highly anticipated by many of us. Whether it’s your normal commute home from the office or a long-haul drive to stay with friends or relatives, it is worth taking some extra steps in the way of planning and precaution to ensure you stay safe on your journey. With many others commuting to various locations for their own plans, and the weather and sunlight levels due to be gloomier than preferred, organisation is key.
Plan your timings
Planning ahead is wise when driving home for Christmas. During such a busy time, it is likely that you will face delays, especially if you are requiring the use of a main road or motorway. Planning your time accordingly will allow you to travel calmly, without reason for rushing. We would strongly advise avoiding travelling during peak times, such as the evening rush hour, as the roads are bound to be busy. If you do find yourself being held up, it is essential to keep calm. Reaching your destination safely is much more important than getting there quickly.
Assess the weather
The traffic isn’t the only thing to pay attention to during the lead up to your journey – the weather could have an impact on it too! During winter, daylight hours are reduced, and this alone could cause slow moving traffic due to restricted vision on the roads. On top of this, being in the UK, it is likely that we should expect some form of wind or rain. This will also have an impact on road conditions. If possible, schedule the time of your journey around the wet or dark weather. If you have flexibility, we suggest travelling before any bad weather to prevent having to transport on slippery road surfaces. Remember, only travel in bad weather conditions if it is crucial to do so.
Keep the car happy
Christmas spirit is something that is felt by most, but it can be difficult to find it in a moment of stress. You’ll find planning ahead with ways to fill the journey will be beneficial to all, reducing stress levels. Packing some books or games for the children in the back and scheduling in regular breaks at a service station to stretch your legs will prevent everybody from becoming restless and fed up during the drive. You could also go fully festive and play some of your favourite Christmas songs on the way!
Take care the next morning
If you are heading away for one night or find yourself at a social event the evening before you journey back home, it is important that you wait until you are completely sober before you step behind the wheel. If you need to think about it, we would strongly recommend that you wait a little while longer before journeying back, as it is likely that you will not be fit for driving at that point. Drink driving is a serious crime and is not worth the risk in any way.
Make sure your car is fit for the journey
If your car is only used occasionally, you may wish to check it over before you set off on your journey. Especially during the colder months, your car may need a little extra TLC to prevent the occurrence of leaks or failed starts. Starting your car and allowing it to run for a few minutes could help keep everything running. If possible, you may even wish to store it in a garage, helping to keep the temperature of your vehicle above freezing.
At Bromley Vehicle Test Centre, we are on hand to run your car through an MOT or service, locating and repairing any faults within your vehicle to set your journey off smoothly. Trust in your car with the support of our expertise and enjoy the festivities worry-free. Give us a call on 020 8460 6666 to speak to our team.