Going out for meals, shopping or visiting friends and family. Christmas is one of those times of the year when people use their car most often, and special precautions are needed at the wheel. In addition, having a car is a tremendous help during the holiday season. What is the correct way to transport a Christmas tree? How should you defog the windows? Javier Delgado, an engineer in the Passive Safety department at SEAT, provides you with several interesting tips:
- The Christmas tree – where does it go?: It is impossible to imagine Christmas without the iconic fir tree, but before buying one make sure you check how big it is so it can be transported by car without hampering the driver’s visibility. “If it’s a big one, instead of folding the rear seats and placing it in the car, put it on the roof. The base should be pointing to the front, and by law only 15% of its length can protrude over the rear of the vehicle”. In order not to damage the paint and guarantee safety, “it should be secured to the roof racks with tightening straps”, explains Javier Delgado. When leaving the tree lot, you should drive slowly and avoid taking the motorway.
On blustery days, use a scraper to deice the windows on the outside and switch on the air conditioning to automatic to defog them on the inside.
- How should you load presents in the car?: The best way to safely carry packages is to “place them in the boot, but never on the rear parcel shelf or on the rear seats. If you do, and if you have to brake suddenly when driving at 50 km/h, a 30 kg package can multiply its weight by 25, so you’d have a 750 kg projectile loose in the car”, warns the expert. A good piece of advice is to “place the heavier packages on the floor of the boot as far back as possible and put the lighter ones on top”, adds Delgado.
- Don’t sit at the wheel wearing bulky clothes: Although the outside temperature may be cold, you should avoid wearing your coat, gloves or scarf while driving. “They prevent you from moving freely and could compromise your safety. It’s better to regulate the thermostat and drive comfortably with a vehicle temperature of 22 °C”, says the Passive Safety expert.
- What’s the best way to defog the windows?: At this time of the year it is common for the windows to fog up. A lot of people usually wipe them with a cloth or their hand, but Javier recommends you to “activate the vehicle’s defog function and switch on the air conditioning to automatic to eliminate the humidity in the air”.
- Getting home safe and sound: There is greater traffic density on the roads at this time of the years. For this reason, drivers should take extra precautions, and there are several driving assistants that can help: “Safety systems like Front Assist can detect other vehicles and pedestrians and become another set of eyes at the wheel that can help you avoid a possible collision”, concludes.