Driving home for Christmas

As the famous Chris Rea festive classic says ‘Driving home for Christmas’ is something thousands of people do every year.

The Christmas holidays this year will be no different as people from all over the UK will be hitting the road to spend Christmas with family in other parts of the country.

If you are one of these people or will be driving on Christmas day, then you should read on to find out some great tips for driving during the Christmas period.

Check your car

No matter whether you have recently bought a new or used Ford car from Poole car dealerships or other dealerships in the UK, you still need to make some checks on your car before you drive off for your happy holidays.

Checks that you need to make can be seen in the Foray guide to winter car care, but here is a brief overview of the elements you must check:

  • Check your tyre tread and tyre pressure
  • Check and clean your lights before your journey
  • Make sure your car oil is at a sufficient level
  • Check your car battery works
  • Make sure your car’s brakes are working correctly
  • Put your windscreen wipers going before you set off to check they are clearing away any muck from your windscreen.
Ford engine

Packing

It is important that before you set off on your car journey you make sure that you have packed everything you need.

Christmas presents

First and foremost you need to check that all the Christmas presents you have bought for the family members that you are going to see have been packed. You don’t want to travel to the first Christmas with the in-laws without their presents!

Torch and headlight

Winter means the nights have drawn in and therefore a must-pack item is a torch and/or a headlight. This will save you fumbling around the car for presents and make it easier to look into the engine if you have broken down you.

The Coast PX10 UV Dual LED Torch from Maplin is a dual beam torch that possesses an ultraviolet light. The torch is also water and impact resistant.

Torch from Maplin

Another great alternative to a torch is Maplin’s tri colour LED headlight, which offers 26 Lumen output, is water and impact resistant, and boasts a fully adjustable head band. The Tri-Colour head torch really does offer unrivalled functionality in the dark as the three different coloured LEDs; the white, red and green LEDs, are perfect for different situations.

Headlamp from Maplin

The Ford all-in-one safety torch is another great option if you are looking for torches as not only is it a great torch, but it also boasts a red warning light, a seatbelt cutter and an emergency hammer. This multi-use torch really is a great buy for anyone that is driving a lot over not just the Christmas and New Year period but any time of year.

Warm clothes

Its winter and it can get very cold so you need to pack clothes that will keep you warm, especially if you are driving a long distance.

Should your car breakdown you can at least keep yourself warm in a fleece. You can pick up affordable fleeces from the likes of Sports Direct, such as the Kangol Toggle Fleece for men or Karrimor jacket for women.

Emergency kit

If you are driving a long distance you should always pack an emergency kit that includes a First Aid kit, a warning triangle, fire extinguisher, phone charger, jumper cables, drinking water, snacks, blanket and a snow shovel.

This will mean that in an emergency you have medical supplies just in the car.

Christmas music

Next and certainly one of the most important tips is to pick some Christmas music for you and the family to listen to.

Mark Knight, the founder of Right Chord Music, said, “When driving home for Christmas you need the right soundtrack, we have three options for you:

Bah Humbug: Just listen to the best new album of the year 'bah' none Officer - Myriads.

If you have recently visited Ford dealers in Wiltshire to buy a new car then you will be able to play all your Christmas music at full blast on your way home!

Don’t drink any alcohol

It’s Christmas and for many of us that means a glass of mulled wine or some other type of alcoholic beverage is a necessity.

However, the likes of Only Young Drivers, an insurance company for young people, are backing a zero tolerance on drink driving this Christmas.

Other charities such as Brake, the road safety charity, have also called on the public to have a zero tolerance approach this Christmas to drink driving.

If you are going to have a drink, even if it is only a glass, then you should not drive home and should plan a different way to get back.

Don't drink over Christmas

Drive carefully

In winter the roads can be icy and slippery so it is vital that you don’t drive too fast, especially if your family live in the middle of nowhere and you are driving on back roads.

It is also important that you pull over and rest should you be getting tired on your drive home for Christmas. If you are at one side of the families for lunch and are supposed to be going to see the other half of the family, but are exhausted then don’t be afraid to tell them that you are tired and will see them the following day instead.

Image Credit: Pavel P., Timitrius, Maplin, Mark Knight, rpavich.

This content was written by James Dart. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.