Driving Home for Christmas: UK road users gear up for the holidays22 December 2016
Good planning, preparation and heightened awareness can save lives over the festive season
The Christmas period is one of the worst times of year for road traffic accidents in the UK with drivers taking journeys they wouldn’t normally make at other times of the year.
The combination of bad weather, busy traffic and drivers not focusing 100% on the road with their thoughts turning to last-minute Christmas preparations, means that the police are called to more incidents over the festive period than at any other time of year.
It is more important than ever around Christmas that drivers check their vehicles are in good condition before venturing out on the roads. This means checking tyres and fuel levels, packing warm clothes or blankets in case of emergency and de-icing if necessary.
We know that the weather is unpredictable around Christmas with rain, ice and even snow arriving to make driving conditions more challenging than usual. This means reduced grip on the roads and increased braking distances that all drivers need to be aware of and take into account.
We should all drive with caution but around Christmas, drivers need to take extra care in built-up areas, where frantic shoppers and unsteady party-goers can behave in a more unpredictable way. Be vigilant and aware of what is going on around you, always keep an eye on your speed and adjust it according to the environment.
Despite a greater police presence on the roads, drink-driving rates inevitably increase around Christmas time, so it is not just pedestrians that can pose a threat to your safety. If the car in front is weaving or making sudden irrational movements, don’t try to overtake but pull back and give them plenty of room.
If you are planning a longer journey, perhaps a visit to relatives in another part of the country, then forward planning is essential. Think about journey times and build in plenty of time to account for heavy traffic and bad conditions. Make sure you pack emergency supplies and, if the weather gets very bad, take a break at more frequent intervals.
Motorway driving can be challenging when the holiday getaway is on but motoring organisations, like the AA and RAC, recommend that drivers stick to major roads during this time of year, as they are more likely to be gritted and patrolled.
David Robinson, senior serious injury solicitor at Thompsons, says: “It is always advisable to keep your vehicle in the best possible condition, with regular services and inspections, but around Christmas this is more important than ever. Driving is always more dangerous over the holiday period, so drivers need to plan ahead, take the proper precautions and be especially vigilant to give themselves the best chance of avoiding accidents.”
Injured on the roads? Help and compensation is close at hand.
If you’ve been injured on the roads in the last three years, Thompsons Solicitors' expert road traffic accident solicitors can support you with making a road traffic compensation claim.
Whether you were the driver or passenger in a car, lorry, coach, van, bus, truck, on public transport or were injured as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may be able to claim for damages.
If you have suffered injuries such as whiplash, bruising or a more serious injury following a road traffic collision on the motorway, country lane or city roads, our solicitors across the UK are ready to help you to make a claim and access any rehabilitation you require.
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Contact us today for a free, no obligation assessment of whether you have a claim for compensation following a road accident.
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