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Driving home for ChristmasBack

DrivingHome4ChristmasDriving home for Christmas is an epic journey that more than 23 million people in the UK are expected to do in the run up to the 25th.

This week is predicted to be one of the busiest for travel, and with the roads more congested, the dark evenings and the precarious weather charts, it is important to make sure you stay safe ont h roads this Christmas.

Trusted Dealers has put together a guide on how to survive the drive home for Christmas this year.

Choose the right tyres

It is recommended that for maximum safety in wintery conditions, you should switch to winter tyres. This type of tyre is specifically designed to work better in snowy and wet conditions and at temperatures below 7 degrees thanks to their higher natural rubber content which keeps them softer than normal tyres at low temperatures and allows them better grip on the roads. If you are using normal tyres make sure that they are inflated to the right pressure and the tread is at least 3mm deep to ensure safe driving.

Book a pre-winter check

Many garages such as Kwik Fit or Halfords will offer free winter checks which will include checking batteries, light bulbs, windscreen wipers and oil and screen-wash levels. Certain manufacturers will also offer winter checks for their cars which will costs within the region of £20 and will include winter packs containing anti-freeze, de-icer and scrapers as part of the deal.

Watch your battery

Many drivers don’t realise that winter driving can put a real strain on their battery – you’re far more likely in wintery driving conditions to use your lights and wipers more as well as depending on your car heater to warm up the car and de-mist the windscreens and windows. Car batteries usually last for around 5 years, so if your car is approaching this age it is well worth getting it checked over. According to the AA flat batteries are one of the main causes of breakdowns – something you will be keen to avoid on your drive home for Christmas.

Carry a kit

Make sure that wherever you go you have an emergency kit in your car in case of a breakdown, particularly throughout the winter months when it can become dangerous to be stranded in your car in the freezing weather conditions. We’d recommend that you include the following in your emergency kit:

  • A Hi-visibility vest
  • A first aid kit
  • De-icer and an ice scraper
  • A shovel
  • A tow rope
  • Sturdy footwear
  • A torch
  • Warm fleecy top
  • Food and a litre of water
  • A blanket

Take care on the road

It may seem obvious but when the weather is snowy and icy you must always remember to take a slow and careful approach behind the wheel. Increase your stopping distances, use second gear to set off to gain a better grip on the road and limit wheel spin and leave plenty of room between your car and the one in front. If you have to brake, do it gently to avoid your brakes from locking and to give you a better chance of steering the car the safety.

Choose the right entertainment

No drive home for Christmas is complete without picking the right music to entertain your passengers. Whether you’re a fan of the classic Christmas favourites or prefer to listen to something slightly less cheesy, make sure your music selection is the right one to put everyone in the mood for a great Christmas!

Posted by Leana Kell on 18/12/2013