Distracted drivers, shoppers & revellers are a real risk
British motorists are bracing themselves for 12 days of traffic trouble – with roads at risk of becoming gridlocked over the festive period
The road network is set to be jammed with couriers delivering gifts, taxis transporting merry revellers and people hitting the motorway as they head off for their Christmas break. Thursday will be the start of 12 days of trouble, according to road safety experts Continental Tyres, with only Christmas Day providing any respite on the roads between then and New Year’s Eve.
Continental Tyres are urging motorists to be extra vigilant, with unpredictable weather and dark nights, combined with increased traffic and merry pedestrians adding to risks on the road.
Pete Robb, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said: “This time of year means the hazardous combination of distracted road users, including pedestrians, and poor driving conditions.
“As part of our ongoing safety campaign we are informing motorists of potential hazards and offering simple advice so that we all enjoy the festive period.
“What is different in recent years is the emergence of thousands of gig economy drivers and riders. They will be extra busy this Christmas season, with a recent study revealing that 63 per cent of these road users are not provided with training to manage risk.”
Continental Tyres have tracked the busiest shopping days, the peak party season and delivery deadlines to understand the risks as highly distracted motorists navigate revellers last-minute shoppers and bargain hunters. The analysis by researchers revealed the reasons why, barring Christmas Day, there is additional congestion and unfamiliar traffic flows prompting road safety concerns including: end of school term, students returning home and the last minute dash to buy Christmas presents.
To stay safe this Christmas, follow these top tips from safety experts at Continental Tyres:
– See clearly and be seen – de-mist all windows and mirrors and remove ice fully before setting off
– Light and bright – all lights should be working and the lens clean
– Get a grip – ensure properly inflated tyres with enough tread depth
– Don’t drink and drive – and be mindful of the impact of medication on your ability to concentrate on driving
– Sensible speed – particularly on wet or wintery roads
– Time and space – road users including pedestrians and cyclists can change direction and stop without explanation, anticipate the unexpected and be sure you have the time and space to brake safely
– Full load – driving with extra weight (people or parcels) means that stopping distances increase – make an allowance and make sure loads are securely in place
– Take your time – if you have a long journey, plan your route and build in a break to stay fresh and focused