Christmas Car Safety & Driving Tips

4 wheel drive vehicle in the snow

Here we are again, that special time of year – the start of the Christmas countdown! Can you feel it in the air? Well, we’ll tell you one thing, your car certainly can. Wintertime brings a lot with it, the festive spirit, cosy days inside, warm blankets and mulled wine, but of course that’s not everything. Here in the U.K., we tend to get something a little bit different to the Lapland-like idyllic Christmasses – something a little more grey.

While we have the luxury to stay home and snug up indoors, for our cars it’s a bit of a different story. Often cars, roads and motorways aren’t designed for our comfort, especially in winter, and as our need to travel increases around this time of year, we thought we would present to you the gift of peace of mind!

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you can probably tell we really care about our cars! That’s why we’ve compiled our wintertime car care tips to stave off any Christmas crisis, both at home and on the road! So let’s get in the spirit and start driving home for Christmas! 

Store a blanket or sleeping bag in your vehicle.

We want to put this one first because as it goes, warmth is one thing we really can’t afford to lose. We’ve all been there, on the edge of turning into an icicle, with the heater packed in – blankets are overlooked nowadays, especially in cars, as we are so accustomed to high-quality super air-con units, however, sometimes you just can’t beat the old ways. In a situation where your car may break down in winter, or even worse at night, waiting for assistance in a stationary car is surprisingly dangerous, more so if you need to exit the vehicle if on a motorway or main road! 

 The beauty of the car blanket doesn’t simply extend to just emergencies you know! Blankets can be a great way to liven up your car’s interior a little bit if the home-vibe is your thing. Having a blanket or sleeping bag also opens the opportunity to rest in your car when necessary, and take a sensible nap to re-energise. They are also a great companion if you have little one’s along for the ride, especially on a long journey.

Keep a light source and a map.

We could see how these first two tips could be described as ‘fuddy-duddy’, but isn’t Christmas all about tradition? Sometimes the old ways are the best, and we’re sure that just having a few of these super simple items in your glove compartment or boot, might just save your holidays!

We can almost hear it now, the chorus of “Why do we need a light and a map? We already have that on our phones!” Of course, that is a hard case to argue, however in these months of festivities it’s almost too easy to forget to keep those things charged, or while travelling to a roast dinner, find yourself in a data dead zone! A good torch could mean the difference between a Merry Christmas morning, or a miserable country road accident, it may help to find your way around hazards on the road, or perhaps even more useful to signify your presence to other drivers in a broken down car!

The map should be pretty self-explanatory, although reading maps has recently become a bit of a lost skill – it’s certainly helped us out a few times in the past! Be aware though, never try to read a map and drive simultaneously, pull over and consult, or have a passenger read for you and direct. A good travel map also doubles up as a great stocking stuffer!

Keep your headlights clean
Close up of a car headlight

Here’s a quick one, but one very easy to overlook! Christmas time tends to mean two things – new socks, and dirty cars! With the constant threat of the roads icing over, roads tend to receive a healthy dose of grit – which then tends to cover your car. It has been estimated that drivers can lose up to 40% visibility due to grit, mud and ice on the car, so why not take a little time to add this to your pre-journey checklist. 

Right after scraping down your windshield, why not give your headlights just a bit of attention, and while you’re at it, walk around your vehicle,  take a look at your brake lights and indicators to make sure everything is shining bright!

Other essentials to consider 

While we want to get onto the topic of our cars, we have to realise: what are cars without their drivers? So alongside our blanket, torch (with batteries) and map, here are a few more items to keep around, just in case:

  • A good pair of wellies or some rugged, strong-gripped shoes – English winters usually mean rain, and sometimes we might have to exit our cars in less than ideal conditions – don’t walk the hard shoulder, mid-shower, in heels!
  • An umbrella – We think you’re starting to get the idea – keep the rain off yourself!
  • Ice scraper – They occupy the junk drawer in almost every house in the country, but do you have it in your car? When away from home, or just when it gets that cold, a good windshield ice scraper will make your life so much easier. Don’t waste any more fuel or power trying to defrost your windows, get as much off with a good scrape.
  • A warning triangle – This one should be in everyone’s cars all year round, and, if you haven’t explored your car, you may find you already have one of these hidden by the manufacturer somewhere! A reflective warning triangle has been known to be a lifesaver, especially this time of year when we drive in the dark so much more!

Well, there you have it! Hopefully, some of these tips have inspired you to make sure you’re stocked up on all your Christmas car essentials items, and if you know of someone without any of these, you might just be able to help with a stocking stuffer! Don’t forget EASR are here for all your paintless dent removal that may be required from your winter driving.  We offer a range of car and van paint repair services as well as other SMART repair services for your vehicle so scuffs and marks are no issue.  Drive safely, and most importantly, let’s remember to keep the festivities in our homes, never bring the party into your car, and know your limit! 

Merry Christmas and safe driving!