In the run up to Christmas, learning to drive can be a different type of challenge and you may encounter distractions that you don’t have to deal with at other times of year. Whether it’s Christmas songs on the radio or bright Christmas lights that could cause you to take your eyes off the road, it is important to make sure you keep your focus. Allow us to explain some of the most common distractions you might experience this Christmas, and how to make sure they don’t affect your ability to drive safely.

Don’t get distracted by Christmas songs

As much as we love hearing Mariah Carey or Slade on the radio when it gets to this time of year, it’s important not to get carried away. You may be tempted to turn up the radio and sing along to your favourite Christmas classics, but loud music will affect your awareness of what’s going on around you. You may be less likely to spot a vehicle pulling out or cars in your blind spot if you can’t hear them properly. You can still enjoy these festive songs whilst driving safely, we recommend keeping the volume at a low level so that you can still take in the sounds of the road at the same time.

Don’t do your Christmas shopping at the wheel

We’re not suggesting you’ll be picking out presents for your friends and family whilst behind the wheel of your car, but your phone can often be one of the biggest distractions to you whilst driving. It can be tempting to quickly check your messages or browse the web for Christmas deals whilst stuck in slow-moving traffic, but the consequences of doing so can be serious. Not only could you cause a collision or hit a pedestrian if you are not paying attention, but you could receive six points on your licence and a £200 fine if you are caught on your phone whilst driving.

Be aware of Christmas lights

Many of us will enjoy getting in the festive spirit by covering our houses with lights and other Christmas decorations. Although they are great to look at for passersby, flashing lights or other eye-catching details can cause a significant distraction to drivers. If you are relatively new on the road, or are undertaking lessons over the Christmas period, it is important to remain focused at all times and keep your eyes on the road. You should also be aware of how other drivers may be distracted and keep a safe distance where possible so that you will have time to react.

Watch out for the weather

Many of us may be hoping for a white Christmas this year, but snow and ice on the road are dangerous and create the most unsafe conditions for driving. We would recommend avoiding driving in snowy and icy conditions unless absolutely necessary, so it is unlikely that your lesson will go ahead if the weather takes a turn for the worse. If you do end up having to drive in these conditions, make sure that your vehicle is properly prepared. You should also accelerate gently and maintain a safe stopping distance from other vehicles, as much as 10 times more than usual according to the RAC. You should also brake earlier and more gently than usual.

If you are learning to drive this Christmas, you will want to be taught be experienced instructors who can help you feel confident on the road. Our team at Lanes School of Driving have extensive experience and have helped thousands of pupils pass their test. Whether you want to book block lessons or an intensive course, allow us to help you prepare for your test. To get booked in with us, call 020 8166 5678 or email .