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Driving Home For Christmas

It is that time of the year when millions move about on Irish roads in an effort to get ready for the Christmas festivities. It doesn’t matter how long or short your journey is, this Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd will be two of the busiest commuting days in this years calendar. With that said, it shouldn’t be stressful and with the right preparation you should be able to make it home in a safe and timely fashion to enjoy quality time with friends and family. Here in DoneDeal, we decided to aid you in this journey by highlighting five key points!


Planning Is Key

 We all know our major cities are bustling this time of the year. You have people travelling into major towns to shop whilst city dwellers are trying their best to escape back to rural parts to be with family and friends. Schools and colleges close so the influx of people moving on our roads is up significantly. With this in mind, it’s crucial to plan your journey to ensure you navigate the best possible route, and perhaps even have a backup option in mind. Given how quickly things can change, it’s wise to check the traffic conditions a few hours before your departure helping you to account for any sudden developments that could impact your journey. When on the road, ensure your radio is set to alert you to traffic updates. Those with smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto should use apps like Google Maps or Waze to better aid you around congested areas. These apps are brilliant at monitoring the traffic live and re-guiding you on the best route possible. It also helps to be aware of any scheduled roadworks or possible road closures. Taking these steps a few days before you make the journey, will allow you the leeway to take into consideration alternative routes if necessary. 

 

Always Check The Weather Forecast 

 Met Éireann has predicted that we are not in for a white Christmas this year and temperatures should be a degree or two above the normal Irish average for this time of December. With that said, always be prepared because a cold snap could be just around the corner. When driving in icy or snowy conditions, drivers must drive with care, even if the roads have been treated and to keep well back from the road user in front, as stopping distances can be ten times greater than on dry roads. Again it is imperative for drivers to plan and check their route well before setting off, and prepare for the conditions of the roads ahead. In the case of serious stormy or wintry conditions, you may want to consider whether your journey is really essential. 

 

Is Your Vehicle Ready For The Journey?

 Many city dwellers don’t use their vehicles daily in favour of public transport and therefor cars can be left for lengthy periods of time not in use or completing only very short journeys. To ensure safety on the road and to avoid the event of a breakdown, it’s essential that you carry out a few vehicle checks and procedures before the journey. This includes filling up your fuel tank, ensuring the fluids are topped up, checking your tyre pressure, ensuring the wipers are in good health, and checking the battery is in good condition. Electric Vehicle owners should do likewise and insure you have a full charge before embarking on a lengthy journey. If you're unsure about conducting these checks independently, several places provide a complimentary winter check.


Keep Valuables & Presents Hidden

If your car is filled with gifts for family, remember that it poses a security risk. When it comes to keeping these presents out of sight, securely place them away in the boot instead of leaving them visible on the rear seats. Especially during long journeys with stops at service stations, there's always a chance someone might take an interest in what's inside your vehicle. When you’ve reached your destination, make sure to unpack your belongings straight away, rather than leaving them inside the vehicle.


Prepare For The Unexpected

It might seem a little much, but the key to driving home for Christmas is to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, whether that’s being stuck in traffic for hours or unfortunately breaking down. In the event of any emergency, it’s recommended that you have the right supplies in your vehicle to get you through the disruption. This includes extra layers to wear, a battery pack for your mobile phone, snacks, water, and not to mention items like a spare wheel or tyre inflation kit should you suffer a puncture. Once again its all about planning but when you do prepare for possible eventualities, you will find stress levels dissipate and you can relax ahead and during the journey.


From all at DoneDeal we wish you a safe onward journey to wherever your festive road trips may take you.

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