West Sussex charity’s tips for safe festive driving

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Millions of people will be taking to the roads between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and Age UK West Sussex has provided tips on driving safely.

Barbara Parnell of Age UK West Sussex, said: “Last Christmas, over 13 million people took to UK roads between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and it’s likely that this year will be just as busy, as many of us take trips by car to visit family and friends throughout the country over the festive period.

“The winter weather is also now upon us and cold and icy conditions can be tough on your car so it’s important that drivers take precautions to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns occurring.”

Age UK West Sussex offers these top tips to motorists to help them to drive safely this winter:

Give your car a winter service to make sure it is in the best condition before starting your journey:

Check tyre tread and pressure - deeper tread depth such as 3mm will result in better grip which will be beneficial in icy, snowy or wet conditions (the current minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm).

Clean your lights and check they are working properly - grime and dirt can prevent lights from giving full glow.

Check and top up your oil, water, screenwash and antifreeze levels.

Check your battery is still in good condition and fully charged before you set out on a long journey.

· If you are unsure on any of these, ask a reputable garage to carry out these vital winter checks.

· Check your car insurance is up to date, you are aware of any excess fees and that you have the correct breakdown cover in place.

· Make sure that you have full visibility from the driver’s seat and that items, such as Christmas presents, do not obstruct your view.

· Check the internet for the most up to date weather forecast for the region you will be travelling in.

· Always carry a warm coat, blankets, gloves and snacks in your car (not in the boot as you may not be able to access it safely).

· Check that your mobile phone is fully charged before leaving.

· Ensure that you have a scraper and de-icer in the car.

· If conditions are poor and causing concern, think carefully as to whether your journey is essential or whether public transport may be a safer option.