With Christmas nearly upon us and plenty of things to think about, it’s really important to keep concentrating when driving and not to get distracted by the festive goings-on around you.
It’s the time of year when we’re all getting a little giddy about the festive period, or worrying and stressing about the plans and events in the next few weeks. Here’s a quick run-down of things that might distract you, and how to keep safe from road traffic accidents in the run up to the big day.
Sadly it’s inevitable in the UK. Rain, high winds, floods and even sometimes snow. It’s really important to take extra care when there is inclement weather. Remember that stopping distances increase in wet weather and can become indefinite if there is ice on the road. Slow down, make sure your car is in good condition and pay extra attention to other drivers.
Children are understandably crazy about Christmas, which can make them louder and bouncier than usual. Having small children making a lot of noise and moving around in the back of the car can be an awful distraction to a driver. Try, if you can, to keep them calm. Maybe give them a book to read or something to distract them so they don’t put you off your stride.
You should also take extra care of excited children on the roads and pavements. They can get easily distracted and forget everything they know about road safety.
You’re the designated driver and paying attention, but those around you may have had a few alcoholic beverages and have forgotten just quite how much you need to concentrate whilst driving.
Many people get into accidents because those around them are misbehaving and putting them off. Try as hard as you can not to let yourself be distracted by drunken friends messing about in the car. If you don’t feel safe, pull over and refuse to drive until they’ve calmed down.
Flashing Christmas Lights
Lights on houses can be really off-putting as a driver. It’s easy for drivers to be distracted by an impressive Christmas light display in full force, but please try to keep your eyes on the road. Those few seconds that you look away could mean the difference between a safe journey and a nasty crash.
If you do want to look at Christmas lights, pull over and take a few moments out of your journey to stare in wonder at someone’s creativity, and remind yourself how much their electricity bill will increase!
If you’ve done a lot of shopping, either for presents, decorations or even the tree, make sure you can still see properly out of your windows.
If your back wind screen is covered take extra care and use your wing mirrors even more than usual. If you have to carry an unusual load, make sure that it doesn’t impede your driving at all.
If in doubt, get the item delivered. It’s better to spend some money on getting it safely to your house than you ending up in an accident.
Unusual Loads on the Road
You may find that there are unusual festive loads on the road to look out for. It might be a giant Christmas tree being delivered, the Coca Cola lorry, or even Father Christmas himself on his sleigh.
But no matter what, don’t let your concentration slip or your eyes wander from the road. It’s so easy to look away for a split second, but in that moment the car in front of you might brake, a child may step out from behind a car, or a vehicle might pull out from a side road.
Stay Safe on the Roads this Christmas
All of us at Slater and Gordon wish you a very happy and safe Christmas and hope that the hints and tips we’ve provided help you on the road.
If you do get into a road traffic accident, and it wasn’t your fault, please get in touch for a free consultation about making a compensation claim. Call Slater and Gordon 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.