Motorists preparing for Christmas know that the high season traffic can cause stress. Getting in the Christmas spirit for a long car journey can be possible, if the condition of the car and the tyres is checked in good time before the trip. When you take the weather conditions into account and reserve enough time for the journey, the drive itself will be the beginning of an enjoyable Christmas celebration for the whole family.
This year Christmas falls on a weekend, which makes both in- and outbound traffic concentrated on the days on both sides of the weekend. When the temperature is fluctuating around zero degrees Celsius, it often means sudden changes in driving conditions. In unpredictable winter weather, the importance of good winter tyres becomes highlighted and their condition is advisable to be checked before diving into the Christmas traffic.
- The depth of the groove, the number of studs and the age of the tyres are important factors. The groove depth should be above four millimetres and studs evenly divided in all tyres. If the tyres are already more than six years old, the rubber mixture can be hardened. This weakens the grip characteristics considerably, even if the groove depths are sufficient, advises the Head of Nokian Tyres' Technical Customer Service Manager Matti Morri.
When the vehicle is heavily loaded, it is necessary to check the tyre pressures. According to Morri, the air pressure in winter should be raised with 0.2 bars from the manufacturer's recommended pressure, because in the cold the pressure drops. When the car is loaded to the extreme, increase the air pressure with up to 0.5 bars.
Morri reminds holiday drivers that the air pressure of the spare tyre should also be checked. If the spare wheel has been replaced with a tyre repair kit, find out how it works before the trip.
You should load the car with care. The heaviest things should be packed first and loose items tied or supported so, that in the event of a sudden braking they will not cause any damage. If you have a ski box, it is important to remember that the load in it should not be heavy. When the vehicle's center of gravity changes, the car can easily skid during a sudden stop or a fast evasive maneuver.
In addition to other Christmas travellers, motorist may encounter a deer suddenly leaping to the road. If the temperature is near zero degrees Celsius with freezing rain, the wet road surface is dark and visibility can be weak. Therefore, the condition of headlights and wipers are also worth checking before starting the Christmas journey.
In Christmas time, as during other winter driving, preparation and anticipation makes driving safer and more comfortable.
- Bad weather and heavy traffic should be taken into consideration before the trip. A sufficient safety distance between vehicles is also emphasized in the winter. However, you should pamper your family by stopping during the journey for a refreshing break. Happy Christmas spirit makes sure the journey is enjoyable for everyone, Morri says.
Tips to reduce stress levels on a Christmas journey:
For more information:
Matti Morri, Technical Customer Service Manager, Nokian Tyres plc, tel. 010 401 7621, email@example.com
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