Christmas driving can be hazardous. It could be snowing or raining, and they’ll also be holiday traffic which will mean that the roads are busier. Here’s a few tips to help keep you safe this holiday season.
Checking Over the Car
Give your car a good checking over a few days before your journey. That way if you need to have anything done or you need new bulbs, fuses or windscreen wipers you’ve got the time to get things organised.
Fill up the car with fuel the day before you go and make sure you know where the garages are on your route. While you’re using your wipers, lights and heating you’ll use more fuel than you would normally, so you may need to fill-up again if you’re on a long journey.
If you need to defrost your car, don’t be tempted to leave the engine running or pour hot water over the windscreen. It’s better to make up a solution of water and rubbing alcohol into a spray and use this to defrost the windows. This method was devised by Meteorologist, Ken Weathers who shows you what to do in this You Tube video.
Listen to the Radio
Once you’re on the road check out the local news channels for information about traffic and weather conditions. Knowing there’s a problem in advance might allow you to change your route and avoid any traffic jams that will delay you.
If you hit heavy rain, put on dipped headlights. Remember that stopping distances will double in wet conditions, so bear that in mind when you are travelling behind another vehicle. You can demist your windscreen quickly if you use the air conditioning. Give it a blast for a couple of seconds if it’s not misting up continually.
If you are on a very wet road, you might find your car begins to aquaplane. The back of your car might begin to move from side to side and the steering will become light. Aquaplaning is caused when your tyres don’t grip the road because there is a layer of water underneath them. If this happens, don’t brake hard. Ease off the accelerator gently, keep the steering wheel straight and when the car is under control gently brake to slow down. If you’re driving in snow have a look at our blog about winter driving.
If your journey is going to take more than 3 hours, then you should take a break to fend off fatigue. It’s recommended that you take a 15 minute break every couple of hours. Have a coffee or shut your eyes for a while and you should feel less tired behind the wheel.