Most of us know the words to the song The 12 Days Of Christmas.
But it could also be said that the six hazards of Christmas driving should be equally ingrained in our heads.
With the party season right around the corner, it’s time to cut shapes on the dancefloor, stuff yourself silly at the annual office dinner and ruin perfectly good festive tunes at karaoke.
But in between the fun, there’s the serious business of getting to and from venues.
That’s why the Government has launched its annual Christmas drink-drive warning.
The Department of Transport’s Think! campaign points out that saying “yes” to a second drink can double your chances of becoming involved in a road accident.
It follows a poll of 781 motorists in Wales and England which showed that one in 10 of us will drive after two drinks.
Younger drivers are more likely to have a second tipple before driving, with the research showing 19% of male motorists aged between 18 and 34 would consider doing so.
The festive period can bring extra hazards besides those associated with alcohol. Here, we look at the six others…
Loughborough University found that driving without drinking enough water can lead to as many motoring mistakes as too much alcohol, the Telegraph reports. Festive hangovers can increase our chances of dehydration.
Party animals may try to burn the candle at both ends and attend every party going. But fatigue numbs your concentration levels, especially on the kind of longer journeys that are commonplace at Christmas. Around 5% of us suffer sleep apnoea and don’t know it. This means there is more chance of us dozing off while driving.
If you have a long journey the next day, avoid sleeping pills or medication for things like migraines. The same goes for flu or cold medicines. These can all make you drowsy, while some can lead to blurry eyesight and poor concentration.
Christmas can mean lots of lugging and lifting, from towering trees to heavy gifts. This can lead to back pain and consequently affect our driving. That’s because a bad lower back can weaken leg muscles. But you might not know this until it’s too late, and you are put to the test by having to brake suddenly.
If you’ll be doing Santa’s job for him and delivering your presents in your car, make sure you don’t pile them up so high that you can’t see out of your window. Full visibility is key to driving. If you can’t get everything in the boot and other places that won’t impede your vision, don’t risk an accident. Plan your shopping and allow for two trips if you have to.