Driving home for Christmas – road safety tips this winter
Last weekend my little family and I loaded the car up with Christmas presents and drove the 4 hour journey north to visit our parents in Mid Wales. Yes, I know it is still only November but we live so far away now, we probably won’t have another chance before Christmas to see them and deliver all our gifts. I miss living in Swansea and only being an hour and half away, a 4 hour drive for me is a big deal. You see, I have not always been the most confident of drivers, it took me a fair few attempts to pass my test and I have, unfortunately, had a few bumps and scrapes along the way. In more recent years I have been steadily getting more comfortable driving on motorways and driving on roads I don’t know. However, this confidence is always significantly knocked when there has been an accident on route, like there was this weekend….
After a lovely couple days with the family we jumped in the car around 5 on Sunday to start our long journey home. We made it down to the M4 in really good time and stopped at a service station for some coffee and to change Leo into his pyjamas. We were back on the road in no time and the drive was going well until, all of a sudden, a sea of red brake lights lit up the motorway. There is only one reason traffic would be this bad on a Sunday night. A quick browse from Oli on the AA website confirmed our fears, there had been a multi car accident on the M4, queues and delays were to be expected.
Initially Oli and I were frustrated, we just wanted to get home. The journey is long enough without having to be stuck in traffic because of an accident. Once the irrational annoyance subsided I began to think about the accident, hoping everyone was OK and how, if we hadn’t stopped, we could have potentially witnessed it or even been involved ourselves.
I don’t know what caused the accident as when we eventually drove past everything, thankfully, had been cleaned up. However, over 1200 road accidents in the UK every year are caused because of problems with car tyres. I don’t know if defective tyres caused this accident or if someone was driving too fast or whatever but, now knowing this statistic, I know for sure I will be checking my tyres from now on – just to be on the safe side.
Safe and sound snoozing away.
Becoming a parent makes us worry about all sorts of things, doesn’t it? Is the house baby proofed? Is my child getting all of their 5 a day? Even when it comes to car travel, us parents up our safety game, We spend ages selecting the best car seat for our child and we always make sure it is fastened securely before we set off on our journey, always. But, do you always check your tyres? I know I don’t. When I was asked to get involved in a campaign to raise awareness of tyre safety I was very happy to participate. As Christmas is just around the corner and lots of you will be travelling all over in the next month or so to visit family, now is the perfect time to make sure your tyres are safe. All is needed is a quick check before you head off on your journey, it is especially important to do these checks if you are planning on driving a long distance.
Here are 3 tyre safety tips you should always remember..
1. Keep correct tyre pressure – check tyres are not deflated but do not over inflate either (correct pressure can be fond in your cars handbook)
2. Examine tyres regularly – check for stones and any other objects that may have got stuck.
3. Check your tread – the minimum legal tread for tyres in the U.K is 1.6mm
I know most of the time we are always in a rush to get places and we have a million and one other things to remember, but if we can find just 2 extra minutes to give the car tyres a once over, you never know, a car accident waiting to happen could easily be avoided. To make things even easier, the lovely people at Tyre Safe have created a short video, showing you exactly what you need to do…
If you have just watched this video, checked your tyres and realised, oh no, your tyres are not safe for the road then don’t panic, go get them fixed/replaced now while you remember! I have recently moved and am yet to figure out what local garage to take my beloved Fiesta to, I have been stung a few times in the past, been over charged by some money hungry mechanic and ended up with more problems than when I took the car in. If, like me, you are new to an area or fancy trying someone new, Point S are a leading supplier of tyres in the UK with over 40 years experience. They have over 200 centres across the country, all of which can easily be found on their website and by simply typing in your car reg their website tells you exactly what tyres you need. Appointments can easily be booked online and you can see how much everything is going to cost before you have committed to anything.
With all the little jobs we have to do before we head off in the car anyway – change baby’s nappy, wrestle shoes on to toddler, chuck pram into the boot – what’s one more? Tyre safety is so important and wouldn’t you rather be the family caught up in the queue of cars on the motorway than be the family involved in the crash causing those very queues? Also, if the police catch you driving around with defective tyres that’s a fine of over £2000, no one wants that and especially not a month before Christmas, right?
Do you regularly check your tyres? If not, do you think you will start now? If you are travelling to see friends and family this month I hope you all have a wonderful time.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post with Point S. All words and opinions are my own.*