Safe driving in the run up to Christmas

Heading “over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house” for Christmas? Or maybe you’re just going away on a family vacation. Either way, make sure you have a fun, and most importantly, safe road trip.

Not only do are there more cars on the road during this time of year, but drivers must also contend with unpleasant driving conditions and sometimes, unruly kids.

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To ensure that you and your family have a fun, safe and memorable trip, keep these tips in mind.

Plan Ahead

Mentally prepare your family for the big trip. Try to get them to embrace that driving to the destination can be just as fun as the holiday itself. With that in mind, make sure you pack plenty of games and activities so that they stay occupied and you won’t be distracted.

Perform Car Maintenance

Make sure the car is functioning properly and safe. Have a qualified mechanic check all the gauges and fluid levels. Have him inspect the engine and batteries and check the tires for uneven treadwear and pressure.

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Prepare an Emergency Kit

You never know what could happen. Pack all necessary equipment in the car, such as snow chains, jumper cables, warning flares or triangles, a flashlight and a shovel. Also bring along a first aid kit, blankets, water and snacks, phone chargers and a map (just in case your GPS stops working).

Fuel Up

Before heading off, ensure that you are well rested and that your car has a full tank of gas. It can be stressful and time consuming getting the entire family ready for a road trip, so oftentimes, when the day finally comes, parents have had little sleep and are left feeling tired. All drivers should get enough sleep before the departure date and take frequent breaks.

With all the technology that enables you to plan your route and locate gas stations, it is easier now more than ever to pre-select which ones you will stop at along the way.

Drive Cautiously

More travellers on the road and inclement weather make for more treacherous driving conditions, and with the increase of whiplash claims in the UK this year, you can never to be cautious. Use your judgment and drive according to the traffic and weather. If the conditions are bad, slow down and leave extra space between you and the driver ahead. If the roads get really bad and you no longer feel comfortable driving, pull over at a safe place.

Keep Kids Busy

“Are we there yet?” You’re all too familiar with that nagging question that tired, anxious kids scream out during long car rides. To prevent them from saying it, or at least not so frequently, try to keep the occupied. Bring along toys, books, movies and plenty of music. Set aside some time to pull people away from their individual gadgets and the entire family to interact by telling jokes and stories or playing fun games.

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