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Festive travel could hold dangerous consequences

Millions of motorists will be “playing Santa” over the next few weeks by loading up their motors before heading off to see family and friends.


As well as Yuletide gifts there will be luggage, pets and family members crammed into every nook and cranny.

Research from the RAC revealed Brits drive an average of 450 miles over the festive season – the equivalent of journeying from Southampton to Glasgow.

But experts have warned that if anything is not secured before setting off on these extended road trips, it could turn into a deadly missile travelling at a terrifying 65mph.


Graham Conway, managing director of Select Car Leasing, said: 

“Christmas is the most likely time of the year to have the car packed to the rafters with all sorts of items and people. But these overloaded vehicles can create a unique danger if certain steps are not followed.
“It’s very tempting, when there are lots of things to cram into the car, to use spaces including the back seat and parcel shelf to pile up gifts and luggage. However, if these objects aren’t secured they could become lethal if you are involved in an accident or simply have to slam on the brakes. If your vehicle comes to a dramatic halt, even lighter items can become dislodged and reach speeds of up to 65mph – putting drivers and passengers in the firing line for serious impact injuries.
“And because these gifts can range from soft toys right up to weighty and hard items, they could do some serious damage. Heavy suitcases would make it even more dangerous. It’s therefore urged to use anything from bungee cords and gaffer tape to lash down anything loose and make sure it does not become a potential killer.”

Research commissioned by secured luggage manufacturer Fixeta showed that in an accident at 37mph, loose items in a car multiply their weight by 56 times.

This means a standard ‘carry-on’ size bag, tipping the scales at 10k, would hit a driver or front seat passenger with the equivalent weight of an adult bull (500kg).

Overloading cars so they exceed the manufacturer weight limit is also illegal, while items that block a driver’s vision could land them with a £1,000 and three penalty points.

If it causes a serious accident, they could even end up behind bars.


The RAC data shows 20 per cent or motorists say they feel Christmas is dominated by driving to see family and friends.

Boxing Day to December 29 are set to be the busiest for road trips over the festive season, with more than 22 million journeys predicted to take place.


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Tuesday, 10/05/2022