Driving home for Christmas

Published: 19 Dec 2017

Whether it’s heading out shopping, getting home from work or making a journey to see your family and friends, the chances are you’ll be driving around the roads this Christmas.

With shorter days and the possibility of fog, heavy rain, high winds and snow, Hertfordshire County Council is urging road users to take extra care this festive season.

As part of a Driving Home for Christmas campaign Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service joined forces with vehicle experts from Halfords and Kwik Fit to offer safety advice to road users across the county.

The series of events are taking place at Tesco shopping centres and public spaces from mid-November through until the week before Christmas, with firefighters and other vehicle experts on hand to share basic tips and friendly advice to ensure residents are safe on the roads.

Drivers have been offered free basic vehicle safety checks on things like wipers, lights, tyres and fluid levels.

Many of the events were timed with Road Safety Week, and saw firefighters from every station across the county out in the community promoting driving safely, vehicle maintenance, cycle safety, even a Road Traffic Collision demonstration and much more.

Area Commander Steve Holton said: “Evidence suggests bad weather increases the number of collisions on our roads, so it’s more important than ever at this time of year to take conditions into account. I’m pleased we have been able to organise these events, getting out and meeting people who we might not normally come into contact with.

“Every serious collision is a tragedy with a knock on impact affecting loved ones. Losing family and friends is particularly difficult during the Christmas period and I urge you to take care, because one death is one too many.”

Hertfordshire County Council is advising residents to use a screen wash additive as this helps to keep the windscreen free of dirt and winter road grime caused by road salting and gritting which can cause visibility issues. There is also the risk of a frozen windscreen which is another reason to ensure you use a proper anti-freeze screen wash. Read more about preparing your car for winter.

Not only is it dangerous to drive in winter conditions with low levels of tread on your vehicle’s tyres, it’s also illegal. Check your tyres regularly to avoid a fine of £2500 and three penalty points per tyre found below the legal depth. Read more about tyres and vehicle checks to make before a long journey.

If you get stuck in your car in winter it could be dangerous, so get a winter car kit ready: ice scraper, de-icer, jump leads, shovel, blanket, sunglasses (for winter glare from the low sun), torch. Keep them in the car at all times - you never know when you might need them. For longer trips think about food, water and medicines too. Here's what should be in your winter car kit.