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Don’t be sleighed by the great Christmas getaway

This week’s tips, from the IAM’s director of standards, Mark Lewis, are sharing advice with drivers about making safe journeys home this Christmas. Roads across the UK are expected to be busier than usual; here are Mark’s top tips to ensure your journey home is as stress-free as possible.

  1. Try and avoid setting off at peak times, including early afternoon on Christmas Eve, when many motorists will start their journeys. Don’t forget to check for weather or traffic-related updates so you can allow more time to travel.
  2. If you’re travelling a long distance bear in mind the weather in one region may not be the same as another – plan for the whole length of your journey and take note of what the weather is like closer to your destination.
  3. Before you set off make sure your friends and family know where you are going and your expected time of arrival. Try to be realistic as possible so they are not worrying about you if you get a little late, and always ensure you have enough fuel as some garages can close early.
  4. Make sure you take regular rest breaks but avoid leaving valuable gifts in the car that are easily visible. Ensure all gifts are secure and sealed away in your car boot.
  5. If you’re too tired to drive then delay your journey – be wary of driving when you would normally be asleep. If you begin to feel tired on your journey, then take a rest break. A coffee and a 20 minute stop are the bare minimum to help you stay alert.
Careful planning and preparation can ensure your Christmas drive home is a safe and smooth one. So long as you give yourself extra time at this busy time of year, your journey home doesn’t need to be as arduous.

We all look forward to spending the festive season with loved ones so let’s all do our bit to make it a safe one for the road. From all here at the IAM, here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Notes to editors:

  1. Mark Lewis is the IAM’s director of standards.
  2. The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving and motorcycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 90,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving and motorcycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.


Media contacts:

IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777