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5 tips for staying safe on the roads this Christmas

Earlier this week I was on a BBC Radio Devon phone-in and lots of members of the public were asking road safety, specifically at this time of year when the days are shorter and the weather is unpredictable.

Here are 5 tips for staying safe out on the roads over the festive period

1. Plan your journey

  • Take five minutes before you set off to prepare your route, allow extra time as the roads will be busy - especially on Friday. Don’t forget to plan some breaks too - tiredness kills. And remember to keep some snacks and water in the car in case you get caught in a jam.

2. Check your car before you set off on a long journey

  • Have you got enough fuel? Are your tyres in good condition? Check your dipstick - is your engine oil at the right level? You’ll probably need washer fluid in this weather. Are your lights working? Don’t forget your ice scraper!

3. Drive to the conditions

  • Wintery weather is unpredictable - wet and cold weather can make for difficult driving conditions and dark skies can cause visibility issues. SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of space between the car in front, when the roads are wet your stopping distance DOUBLES and in icy or snowy conditions you need to multiply by it by TEN.

4. Don’t forget your lights

  • Even in the daytime wintery skies can make it difficult to see other road users, especially if it’s raining. Although lots of modern cars have daytime lights these are only on the front of your vehicle so you might be invisible from behind. Put on your headlights.

5. Make sure you’re fit to drive

  • Everyone knows driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs is illegal but do you know how long it takes for them to leave your system? It can take up to an hour and half for your body to process one unit of alcohol so you could still be unfit to drive the morning after.