Let your Diwali driving days be a delight
This week’s tips from the IAM’s director of standards, Mark Lewis, are looking at how drivers can travel safely to and around busy town centres during Diwali. Let’s make this a safe Diwali for the road.
- With a number of local events staged for such festivals, town centres tend to get busier than usual and pedestrians may not be taking as much care. Be vigilant on their behalf and take a different route if possible.
- When travelling at night, be cautious of fireworks and smoke that will distract you and stop you from seeing clearly. Make sure you have your headlights switched on and your windows are clean before you start your journey. Observing firework displays will also affect your night vision as many fireworks are extremely bright – ensure your eyesight has returned to normal before driving.
- As the driver of the car, you are responsible for you and your passengers’ safety at all times. Remember, you must never use a hand-held mobile phone or tablet whilst you’re on the move and only carry as many passengers as the car can legally hold. Everyone must be wearing a seatbelt.
- If you’re drinking alcohol, then you shouldn’t be driving, even if you think you’re still under the legal limit. Ask a family member or friend to drive you to and from your destination. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- If you’re wearing lots of jewellery make sure you park your car close to your destination point and in a safe a legal parking spot. If there is no space to park nearby then see if you can get dropped off first and allow a family member to park the car afterwards.
- Make sure your car is well prepared for winter weather, be that rain, fog or ice– all lights and tyres should be in good working condition and windows should be kept clean.
Dark nights, crowds and general merriment all conspire to make the Diwali period a challenging one for drivers. To avoid missing the start of the celebrations, or taking unnecessary risks enroute, set off 15 minutes earlier than you might usually and keep an eye out for fellow revellers.
“We wish you all a very happy and safe Diwali!