Families will travel a mammoth 302 miles during the Christmas period, a study found.
The research of 2,000 adults revealed the festive mileage is made up of trips to the shops for presents, supermarket for Christmas dinner and going to events such as the pantomime.
In addition, 116 miles will be travelled to see friends, close and extended family.
While 45 miles are tallied up making trips to and from various shops to buys presents for everyone.
During Christmas week, Brits estimate they’ll spend almost nine hours in the car travelling to see loved ones.
Understandably, 54 per cent of adults find driving over Christmas stressful, with a fifth worrying about the family’s safety and 26 per cent claiming this is due to the added responsibility.
Women find it more stressful driving around Christmas than men with 56% of women saying they find it stressful compared to 48% of men. Click here for more gender split stats
David Carter from Accident Advice Helpline, which commissioned the research via OnePoll.com, said:
“It’s not a surprise how many miles families travel over the festive period but it’s important to be prepared for the journey ahead. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination as roads can be very busy, and know the route you’re going to take. At this time of year adverse weather isn’t uncommon so make sure your car and you are prepared for the journey by drive with caution. Leave extra space between you and the car in front of weather conditions and visibility is bad”.
The study found the weather conditions make a Christmas journey stressful for 47 per cent of motorists, while 43 per cent get anxious when stuck in holiday traffic.
Keeping the children entertained is a worry for 29 per cent of families, while the need to constantly pack and unpack the car is a chore for 23 per cent.
Frequent toilet stops, remembering to pack and take everything, and the fear of breaking down also make people nervous about driving in Christmas week.
Younger drivers between 18 and 24 cited having to pack and unpack the car to be a huge stress with 41% of people agreeing compare to just 16% of those over the age of 55. Younger drivers also said remembering to take everything was stressful with 32% of people saying it was of great stress compared to 17% of people aged between 25 and 34 years of age.
But many families go prepared for every eventuality when in the car with the kids – half of those polled pass the time by singing to Christmas music and 23 per cent allow every member of the family to have a turn on the playlist.
Four in 10 parents go armed with plenty of snacks for the children, and 14 per cent simply ply them with sweets for the entirety of the journey.
Films for the children, in-car games and activity books are other ways prepared parents keep the children entertained on a long car journey.
But things don’t always go to plan – as the survey shows, a fifth of parents have fallen into an argument with the children on a Christmas drive, while 13 per cent left presents and home and 26 per cent got trapped in a holiday traffic jam.
Sadly for eight per cent of folk, a breakdown was their most unwanted present, while 13 per cent witnessed an accident. Accidents over the festive period are more common to see in London with 21% of motorists claiming to have seen an accident compared to just 6% in East Anglia and Wales.
David Carter added:
“Distractions and temptations are very common when you are driving the family around over the festive period. It’s important to ensure that both you and your vehicle are fit to drive. We deal with the human consequences of road accidents and know how heart breaking it can be. Have a healthy and Happy Christmas time and drive safely”.
BREAKDOWN OF CHRISTMAS MILES
Present shopping – 45
Visiting close relatives – 51
Going to panto – 19
Food shopping – 33
Visiting friends – 32
Visiting extended family – 33
Christmas week – 89
TOTAL = 302 MILES