Car drives through the forest in winter in the dark

Driving Home for Christmas

Or how to drive safely in winter

A cosy evening with Mother's delicious Christmas roast, lots of chocolate and watching Christmas movies on TV that will transfer you back to your childhood, all this after a rather perfect Christmas.

In order for everything to work out the way you think it will, you should check your travel destination beforehand. Good planning and preparation is already half the battle, or in your case half the way home to the gift table. You should pay attention to the following things:

  • Prepare car in good time
    To make everything as stress-free as possible, you can store your luggage and gifts in the car the day before. Provided you live in a reasonably safe area and don't have to worry about it. Or you have a garage - even better.  But beware: the heavier your car and the smoother the roads, the longer your braking distance! Therefore: Safety First – adjust speed, calculate braking distances and keep distance!
  • Fill up and check tire pressure
    Since you will certainly want to go on your journey with a full tank, you can take the opportunity to check the tyre pressure at the petrol station. This is important if your car is fuller than usual, keyword gifts or braking distance. You can also relieve your wallet considerably. Because the less air in the tyre, the higher the rolling resistance of the tyre is and this leads to higher fuel consumption.
  • Winter tyres
    Speaking of tyres: please let the winter tyres be fitted in good time! Sounds natural, but it is not. Yes, it is expensive and yes, it is ludicrous, but indispensable. If the money in your wallet is tight, then have a look‘ times here purely. There you will be explained step by step how you can do it yourself.
  • De-icing agent
    Hot water on the frozen windshield. Don’t even think about it! Sounds simple and fast, but can quickly become really expensive. Especially when the disc shatters or the electronics are damaged. If you don't have a chance to put the car in a garage, you can protect the windows with a windscreen cover against the cold. Even if you sprinkle de-icing fluid on it the evening before, it will make it easier the next morning. Otherwise you just have to bite into the sour apple, get up early and scratch the whole oldschool (a lot).
  • Antifreeze
    Even if you have already covered the windows, you should not ignore the windscreen wipers or the windscreen washer system. On the one hand it is legally required to use antifreeze and on the other hand it also makes sense, as otherwise the splash water nozzles and the water itself will freeze if Väterchen frost has struck.
  • Snow chains
    If you are planning to go into the mountains or want to play it safe, snow chains are an option for you. In Austria, for example, they are mandatory and if you get caught without them, you will face a fine. It is best to find out beforehand and also how to mount the snow chains correctly.

On the Road again

The day has come, it finally starts. You've packed everything, you've got a lot of love and peaceableness in your luggage, and you've done the above steps well.

Don't forget to also remove the snow from the roof ! If you have to brake hard, the snow will fall on the windshield and you won't be able to see enough.

Apropos to see and be seen sufficiently: even if in Germany there is no obligation yet to start the light on the vehicle during the day , you are advised to handle it like most other European countries and to start the light. You will be better seen by other road users and the risk of an accident will be minimized with a single push of a button. If your car is not yet equipped with a daytime running light, you can use the parking and dipped headlights. Parking lights alone are not permitted and fog lights may only be switched on if visibility is severely impaired due to weather conditions.

Plan in principle brake more evenly , use the brake pedal more carefully and be careful when shifting and accelerating. Keep the distance to the person in front, leave a little more space than usual and best you drive with as large a gear and as low a rpm as possible. That you are even more careful than usual is clear.

And last but not least: pack yourself some nutritious snacks, hot drinks and a thick blanket !  Because unfortunately, even the best preparation and the most elaborate plans don't help if you are blizzarded by snowstorm, lightning ice and traffic jams and stand between you and your Christmas roast.

But if you follow these tips, you are definitely on your way back home safe and successful.

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