There are just a few weeks left before Christmas, which means many Brits will be thinking about their transport plans to visit friends and family over the holidays.
With many people planning to use their cars to see loved ones or attend social events during the festive season, the AA is reminding drivers to stay safe on the roads by avoiding drinking over the recommended alcohol limit.
The car insurer is launching its annual drink drive campaign ahead of Christmas, advising motorists that it is not worth risking theirs and other people’s lives by getting behind the wheel inebriated.
Its ‘Don’t risk it!’ initiative is in response to the Department for Transport’s recent statistics that showed 220 people and 6,070 were injured due to drink-driving accidents in 2016.
AA president Edmund King noted that there are “more temptations to drink and drive” around Christmastime. However, he reminded people it could have dangerous consequences, including fatalities.
“For years, police forces have put huge efforts into targeting drink driving, and their hard work is paying off as half of drivers feel there is more chance of being caught over the festive period,” he stated.
The message from the AA is clear: “If you are going to drink, don’t drive, and if you are going to drive, don’t drink.”
While 48 per cent of people think they are more likely to be caught if they are over the limit in December, this figure dramatically drops to 30 per cent for other times of the year.
It is not just drinking alcohol that poses a threat to drivers over Christmas, as there are more hazards motorists need to be wary of when on the roads during the winter.
For instance, darker evenings, icy weather conditions, and busier roads in the lead-up to December 25th make it an extremely dangerous time of the year for motorists.
According to Co-op Insurance, December 5th is, in fact, the most perilous date of the year to hit the road, as more claims are made than any other day of the year.
Data from between 2012 and 2018 indicates December 5th involves more road traffic accidents and collisions throughout the country, with the most dangerous place to drive being the Midlands.
Men tend to be involved in more crashes on December 5th than women, making up 57 per cent of claims made on this date, reported the Independent.
The best thing to do if you have to drive regularly throughout the winter months or you are planning several trips to visit loved ones over the festive season is to make sure your car is in the best condition possible.
Co-op Insurance recommends checking tyres to ensure they have deep enough tread for icy or snowy roads, and have the right amount of air in them. It has also advised to make sure lights are working properly so other drivers and pedestrians can see the vehicle clearly.
You might also want to look for good-quality second-hand catalytic converters in the lead-up to the holidays, as this can improve the performance of your car’s engine.