Safety Filled Holidays*

It's time to get serious. Winter can be pretty dangerous, especially if you're one of the thousands of people out on the roads, travelling to visit family and friends over the Christmas period.

In recent weeks, my Mum was nearly involved in a car accident, and the fact that she so easily could have been injured or even killed is a really scary thought. When driving home from work, she witnessed a motorist speeding on the approach to a roundabout. The speeding car didn't brake in time and ended up launching over the big grassy apex of the roundabout, crashing down on the other side, narrowing avoiding other motorists coming in the opposite direction. Thankfully nobody else was caught up in the incident and the driver was ok, but witnessing this was obviously a terrifying experience for my Mum. Hearing the story from her has really hit home just how important road safety is at this time of year.

That's why, when the car tyre company Point S asked me to be a part of their Safety Filled Holidays campaign, I happily took up their opportunity. I've put together a winter driving safety checklist, which will hopefully ensure that you and your fellow motorists have a safe holiday season on the roads!

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Tip #1: Check your tyres!
This is an important one! If the tread on your tyres is worn down, your car's stopping distance, especially in wet and icy conditions, increases dramatically, meaning that you are at risk of a collision. One of the simplest ways to check whether your tyre tread is at a safe level is to use a 20p coin. Slot the coin between the tread of a tyre. If the inner border of the coin is visible, the tread depth is too low and may be dangerous - the tyre should be replaced. Click here for a visual guide to the 20p test. Make sure you check your spare tyre too! If your tyres do need replacing, you can order your car tyres at Point S with the online booking system*. Ensuring that your tyres are up to the job keeps the roads safe both for yourself and for your fellow drivers.

Tip #2: Prepare for bad weather.
Before you leave for any journey, make sure that you have everything you need in your car just in case the weather turns icy. In winter you should always keep a supply of de-icer, oil, windscreen wash, and anti-freeze in your vehicle. You never know when they're going to come in handy! If you're caught out in bad weather, you'll be very grateful for these supplies.

Tip #3: Adapt your driving to the weather.
A driving style that might be appropriate in the middle of summer on clear roads may not be suitable in wintry conditions. Reduce your speed in rainy or snowy weather. Increase the gap between yourself and the car in front of you. Slow down in plenty of time. Don't brake harshly unless absolutely necessary. Use dipped headlights in the fog. Using your common sense and being aware of the roads and other drivers around you is very important in adverse conditions.

Tip #4: Keep an emergency kit in your car.
This seems unnecessary, right? But just imagine yourself in the middle of a long journey, trapped in your car overnight due to the bad weather. It's not a nice thought. Therefore, you should make sure that you have an extra set of warm clothes, a blanket, some welly boots, waterproofs, a first aid kit, a torch and batteries, and some food and drink rations with you. And if you don't end up using them in an emergency, you can delve into your snack supply whenever you like! Win win!

For more winter driving safety tips, you can visit the road safety charity Break's website. If you have any advice to share to help others ensure a Safety Filled Holiday, please leave a comment below!

Until next time,

A x

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