20th Dec, 2023
Jolly Christmas singles aside, we’re willing to bet you’re not looking forward to the actual driving part of “Driving Home for Christmas.” Ironically enough, it’s a pastime not even Chris Rea particularly enjoys. If you’re familiar with the background of the song, or even if you just focus on a couple of the lyrics, you’ll already know that it’s actually a song basically about being stuck in traffic for hours on end. Which we’re willing to bet is something that you’d prefer to avoid this Christmas.
So with that in mind, this week we’re looking at the best top tips to stop you from stressing, rushing, and potentially ending up in a collision that scraps your car. Nobody needs that at this time of year!
As we’ve already touched on, Christmas Day itself can be a dream, but the festive traffic can be a nightmare. Let’s be honest, you’ll almost certainly get caught up in it to some degree, so the best way to combat some of that potential stress is to plan as far as you can in advance, identifying and avoiding potential chokepoints. In the days or hours before you set off, it’s also a good idea to check weather forecasts, road conditions, and traffic updates.
While you’re out on the roads, don’t forget to schedule breaks for rest and meals, and allow a bit of extra time for (very expected) “unexpected” delays. And when all else fails, you can designate your partner as your car’s comms officer, and have them call ahead to friends and family who may be waiting for you. Sometimes it just comes down to managing expectations!
Peak traffic hours tend to be in the late mornings and early afternoons, so if you’re worried about getting caught up in traffic, it’s best to try and time your journeys to avoid these as much as you can. Generally, the earlier the better (although that’s not always realistic if you’ve got young children to shepherd into the car!). Sometimes, even an hour or so can end up making all the difference.
If you’re able to leave relatively early in the morning, or later in the evening, with luck you can dodge the worst of the traffic – so your journey will be shorter, and hopefully a bit less stressful to boot.
Amid all the fuss and hubbub around getting everyone ready and packed and everything bundled into the car (family members included), it can be easy to forget it’s a cheerful time – so one good way to combat the potential stress of the journey is to make the trip itself into part of the festivities.
Obviously, a good Christmas playlist is an absolute must – get some Wham, get some Chris Rea, get some Michael Bublé and get him Bublé-ing at his very best as you hit the highway. Don’t be afraid to have some alternatives ready too though, like some Christmas games, or even a good audiobook for when everyone’s energy levels dip in the later hours of the journey.
And of course, if you think some younger members of the family might get a little rowdy later on, you can always cheat a bit with some festive Christmas snacks and treats to buy their silence. You can even maximise the festive feeling with a few decorations for the car – just obviously make sure they don’t obstruct your view!
This is one that’s often underestimated, and you therefore won’t hear many people give it as advice, but it’s so, so important. It’s not unusual for people to set off in the dead of night or the breaking hours of dawn to try and beat that rush hour traffic we’ve detailed above, but that often means driving tired. And as we highlighted at this time last year, driving tired is just as bad as driving drunk.
Ultimately, the end effects are the same. Even if you don’t actually fall asleep at the wheel (potentially a very real possibility) your reactions are slowed, and that can make it all the more likely you’ll fail to react to something crucial happening ahead – which could make all the difference as to whether or not you have an accident. So if you’re planning on an early start, make sure you get some proper shut-eye first!
Those are our top tips – the element of rest is an absolute essential, but the rest is up to your discretion. Whatever the case, have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year! And if you fancy a change for your car in 2024, rest assured that’s exactly where we can help here at Scrap Car Network. With more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’ve refined our process to make sure it’s never been easier to scrap your car. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll have your scrap car quote to you in seconds. So… curious to find out how much your car is worth?