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WITH temperatures set to plummet this winter and the festive season upon us, here are 12 Days of Christmas festive driving tips to help drivers stay safe.

Provided by experts across the Alphabet team, the tips are designed to encourage drivers to revisit the basics and travel with caution on the roads this winter:

  • Regularly check tyres are in good order, and have plenty of tread depth. The legal limit is 1.6mm, but consider replacing your tyres before this
  • Lights can get filthy with all the spray in winter. Keep them clean and check the bulbs regularly so you’ll be prepared for lower visibility and shorter days
  • Never drink and drive. Plan ahead and remember it can take hours for alcohol to leave your system so it’s safer not to drive the following day
  • Check oil and water regularly and keep your windscreen washer topped up with the correct concentration of cleaner fluid
  • Don’t rely solely on your brakes in order to stop in snow – drive slower. If your tyres are making virtually no noise this could be a sign you’re driving on ice
  • Sun glasses can help to reduce the glare of low winter sun
  • Keep an eye out for uneven road surfaces and potholes. Maintain an appropriate distance, stay alert, watch your speed and avoid unnecessary braking to reduce vehicle damage
  • Take regular breaks on long trips – listen to weather forecasts, and if weather and visibility are hazardous, ask yourself ‘is this trip really necessary?’
  • Ensure your vehicle has been serviced properly, that way it won’t let you down even if the weather does
  • Are your wiper blades in good condition or do they tend to leave streaks? If so, get them replaced
  • Never use your hand-held phone while driving and don’t be distracted this December. It’s illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar device
  • Anticipate problems that might come up when driving and plan for them well in advance to avoid needing to take last minute action

John Chuhan, Alphabet’s chief risk officer, comments: “Businesses have a duty of care to ensure employees stay safe on the road, especially during winter. With unpredictable weather, these 12 simple steps mean drivers and their employers can have peace of mind this Christmas.”

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