Driving home for Christmas: Avoid a road traffic accident this festive season

Published: 08/12/2011

Christmas means many things to many people but typically Christmas is about getting together with family and friends and having fun. And where there’s fun, there tends to be a tipple or two.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has issued a warning to all road users, advising them to take extra care on the roads this festive period and to plan their journeys in advance.

Setting up a dedicated website – drivingadvice.org.uk – the IAM are offering Christmas driving tips as well as providing traffic updates and weather forecasts.

Peter Rodger is the Chief Examiner at the IAM:

“Now is the time of festive fun and this often involves Christmas parties. If you’re heading out for a few drinks, make sure you have planned your journey home.

“Drinking and driving has serious consequences. It is not only about your safety, but other road users. It is not worth the risk.”¹

According to the Department of Transport’s Road Accident and Safety Report 2010, there were an estimated 9,700 reported casualties caused by someone who was driving over the legal alcohol limit. 250 people died last year as a result of drink-driving, while 1480 were seriously injured.²

Top 4 Christmas Season Driving Tips

  • Adopt a zero-tolerance policy
    People think they can have a drink or two and be fine to drive. However everyone is affected by alcohol in different ways and has a different tolerance level. The safest bet is just not to drive.
  • Consider where you are
    If you’re in a pub, you’re probably drinking a standard measure. However at a house party measures tend to be anything but standard so it is near impossible to keep tabs on how much you’re actually drinking.
  • Forget convenience
    Just because you drive somewhere doesn’t automatically mean you should drive back. Yes it may be a bit of a hassle to go and pick up your car the next day but better that than putting yourself and others at risk.
  • The day after the night before
    We’ve all had a night or two where the egg nog and mulled wine have gone down too easily. While the instant effect is obvious, many assume they are fine to drive the next morning. This is often not the case as alcohol could still be in your system especially if you’re drinking into the early hours.

¹IAM (Dec 2011)
²Department of Transport (Sep 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles