With the festive season in full swing, Christmas parties, family visits, and long-due road trip holidays are taking place all over the country.

The weather is warm, and the roads are full. And, unfortunately, this is the time of year when most accidents occur. So, it’s highly important to stay safe and take the right precautions to ensure your holidays are happy throughout.

We’ve put together some tips that may seem obvious, but with everything going on in December, you might need a little reminding of.

Just slow down

It’s the holiday season, after all! You should be in relax-mode. Speed cameras will be ramped up and, with more people on the roads, it’s just not worth shaving a little time off your journey. Plan your route and give yourself a time buffer to account for any delays or traffic jams.

Check your tyres

With temperatures set to soar this summer, roads will be scorching. This can damage the rubber on tyres that are over-inflated. The heat can cause them to become very dry and burst. Check your tyre pressure and the appearance of it – if the center of the tyre is worn more than the outer edges, it’s probably over-inflated.

Be aware of fatigue

Fatigue is a major reason for roadside fatalities in Australia so be sure to get lots of rest before attempting any long trips. Stop often, take breaks, and nap when you need to (when you’re not driving of course!). Drivers with short trips, this also applies to you! Dashing from engagement to engagement will tire you out, so set yourself a curfew and don’t drive if you think you might feel tired soon.

Pack the sunnies

Driving in that intense glare can be dangerous and cause accidents when a driver can’t see what’s in front of them. Have your sunglasses with you and when you are driving directly into that strong Aussie sun, slow down. If it gets really glary, pull over and wait for the sun to set a little.

Tip: Turning your headlights on can also help you be seen by other road users who may not have packed their sunnies!

Hydration is key (for you and your car)

Often the excess wining and dining during Christmas will leave us feeling somewhat sluggish and dehydrated, so it’s important to keep up your water intake. However, your car might be feeling the same way with all that driving around and, during summer months, could overheat. Keep a spare bottle of water for the car and check radiator fluid before taking off on a hot day.

Stay covered with roadside assistance

Could you think of anything worse than missing Christmas lunch thanks to a punctured tyre, flat battery or locking your keys in the car?! Don’t let a silly mistake ruin the silly season for you – purchase roadside assistance and enjoy your turkey in peace.

If you’re renting a car for your Christmas road trip holiday, don’t forget to add Recovery Plus Protection to the rental.

Don’t drink and drive

Just don’t. There’s absolutely no need to get behind the wheel after indulging in a few drinks. There’s nothing merry about risking lives – whether it’s yours, your passengers or other drivers and pedestrians. The law has a no-nonsense approach to DUIs, with serious legal consequences. Even if you think you’re fine, chances are you may be over the limit, so leave the keys and opt for alternative transport or accommodation.

Also, be aware of pedestrians whose spatial awareness may be off due to alcohol and take extra care when driving in busy areas.

Thrifty wishes you a very a Happy Holiday and New Year! Enjoy the holidays and be safe. And with 2018 just around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking of all the exciting places to visit. So, where do you want to go?