Safety tips for motorists this Christmas

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With the streets packed with shoppers and revellers in the lead up to Christmas Day, IAM, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has come up with top tips on how you can safely drive around crowded shopping areas this Christmas.

• Keep an eye out for pedestrians who will be leaving Christmas parties and shopping centres in the dark. Remember, they may be distracted or drunk so make sure that your dipped headlights are switched on and that you are prepared to slow down if necessary.

• If you’re the designated driver dropping friends back home, make a note of their address details before they have a drink – or you may risk agreeing to take them home when they are not sober enough to tell you where they need to go!

• When driving with other people, make sure their behaviour doesn’t distract you. Stay focussed on the road ahead and make sure all passengers have their seatbelts fastened.

• You are more likely to feel tired when travelling in the dark and for a long period of time. Make sure you are prepared for this by drinking some coffee or drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and alert.

• The more people in your car, the quicker the windows will mist up. Make sure you understand how to demist your car internally to help dry out the air and keep visibility clear.

Mark Lewis, IAM’s director of standards, said: “As the designated driver don’t feel tempted to consume any alcohol – one drink can be too much. Enjoy the run up to Christmas, but make sure you make it a safe one for yourself, your passengers and all other road users. So long as you reflect these tips in your driving, you can make the festive season a merry one.”