Many of us are expected to take to the roads this Christmas to be reunited with friends and family.

But the pressure and excitement of the festive season can mean that many of us let standards slip, and one area where you really don’t want to do this is when it comes to road safety.

Thankfully road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has come together to offer its top tips to keep us safe over the festive break… 

Get a taxi home if you’re drinking

Many of us will choose to get quite merry this festive season, and while there’s nothing wrong with this, if you do choose to drink make sure you’re not the one driving. It’s always best to think ahead and book a taxi to get you home. 

Remember to belt up

If you’re involved in a crash, a seatbelt is the single most effective way to reduce the severity of your injury, so if you’re getting in a car – whether a driver or passenger – always remember to belt up. 

Make sure your children are safe

Christmas is a very exciting time of year for children, but it’s important not to neglect their safety at this time of year. Make sure they’re visible if out walking, while once in the car ensure they’re belted and restrained safely. 

Plan journeys in advance

They say planning makes perfect, and it’ll certainly put you in good stead out on the road over Christmas. You might find there is more traffic on the road than usual, while being prepared for adverse weather conditions as well. 

Slow down

Christmas can sometimes feel rushed and hectic, but ensure this doesn’t carry over to your driving style. Take plenty of time when out on the road, give yourself a lot of space and make sure to stop regularly on longer trips. 

Don’t drive tired

Late nights can be quite a common occurrence over Christmas and New Year festivities, but if you’re driving, ensure that you’re not tired. Fatigued motorists take far longer to react to hazards. Remember to stop on longer trips and share the driving if possible

Don’t drive if medication doesn’t permit

If you’re feeling a bit worse for wear and/or have taken any medication, make sure it’s not one that makes you drowsy if driving. Always check the label on any medicines, and get someone else to drive if you’re in any doubt. 

Do your tyre checks before setting off

Your car’s tyres are the only part in contact with the road, so it’s amazing just how many drivers neglect to check them on a regular basis. However, you really need to have a look before undertaking any long Christmas trips, so check there’s plenty of tread on them, that they’re inflated to the correct pressure, and that they’re not damaged in any other way.

Put the mobile down

You might have been spoiled with a new phone for Christmas. Though you’ll no doubt want to spend as much time on it as possible, be sure that it’s firmly out of sight when you’re driving. Not only is it dangerous but it could land you with six penalty points on your licence and a hefty fine. It’s just not worth it. 

Banish festive family distractions

Keeping everyone entertained on longer trips can be difficult, but when it comes to driving, this is the most important thing you should be focusing on. So as much as children might want to play with their presents while you’re on the move, it’s best to put any distractions away.