Driving home for Christmas: Road safety tips from IAM

21st December 2012

With hundreds of thousands of people scheduled to make trips back home to see their family for Christmas, road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued a number of motoring tips, straight from Britain’s top advanced driver Peter Rodger.

Firstly, Mr Rodger advises that everyone should check their vehicle prior to any journey. Important checks include checking tyre pressure, topping up washer fluid and ensuring all lights are working.

For more substantial checks, ATS Euromaster offers a free brake and tyre check to all customers.

Planning your journey is also very important. Checking weather conditions for the leaving point and eventual destination of your travel is a must. Take heed of any radio updates whilst you are travelling, and a map or satellite navigation may be necessary in case you need to change the route of your journey.

If you are travelling with a friend, spouse or relative on a long journey, consider sharing the drive-time to avoid fatigue. If not, take regular breaks to keep you fresh and alert. Every two hours or less is the recommendation from Mr Rodger.

Travelling with children can be far from easy. Packing enough food, books and games will stop the back-seat boredom and hopefully keep the kids quiet so all your attention can be focussed on the road.

With the roads set to be jam packed this Christmas season, look out for other road users. Remember, Christmas can be an especially stressful time, especially in winter traffic. Try to remain patient and give other road users plenty of room and consideration to account for driving errors.

For worse case scenarios, you should consider packing some essentials. It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Mr Rodger suggests packing an emergency kit, including: spare clothes, a shovel, water, food, an ice scraper and a reflective jacket. Any emergency medication should also be within close reach for unexpectedly long journeys.

Ensuring you have a fully charged mobile phone with your breakdown provider's details saved into it should also be a must. However, in all circumstances, you should not use your phone whilst driving. If you must use it, pull into a safe spot on the road or stop at a service station.

“The last thing you need at Christmas is to be caught out and held up on your way to see the loved ones. Take the time to prepare and plan your journey from start to finish, to drive your way to festive harmony,” Mr Rodger concluded.

For more information and tips for driving in rain, snow, ice, fog and wind visit drivingadvice.org.uk.

It is also a good idea to pack a blanket, torch and a foot-pump. Checking your spare tyre and keeping a puncture repair kit in the car, if your car doesn't have a spare tyre, is also advised by tyre experts.

ATS offers a range of winter tyres for adverse road conditions. Winter tyres improve grip and control on the wet and cold roads, making that long drive home even safer this Christmas time.

ATS Euromaster wishes all their customers a safe and merry Christmas.

Visit ATS Euromaster to see how they can help you on your drive home for Christmas.

Posted by Danielle Barge