Simple vehicle checks can prevent a breakdown

With Christmas coming, Highways England has called on the main man to help remind drivers to check their vehicles before travelling this festive season.

Santa Claus checks his sleigh to make sure it doesn’t break down as he prepares to deliver presents to children the world over.

And the company responsible for motorways and main A-roads is urging people driving this Christmas to make sure their vehicles are also ready for seasonal travel.

Santa can be seen carrying out the vital checks on his sleigh in a special fun animation below:

Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said:

“This is a timely reminder from Santa and his festive friends that you should always check your vehicle before setting off. But there is a serious point to this, too.

Safety is our top imperative and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns are avoidable and these can easily be averted with simple checks.”


Latest statistics from Highways England show almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems. These could have been avoided with basic checks. Also:

  • Nearly a quarter of breakdowns are caused by tyre problems
  • 450 people were injured in incidents involving vehicles that weren’t roadworthy over the course of a year
  • Around 20 motorists break down every day because they have run out of fuel
  • There were 7,419 cases nationwide of vehicle breakdowns on the strategic road network due to lack of fuel

Vehicle checks are for short journeys as well as long ones

The RAC is also backing the campaign. It says that motorists should check their vehicle this Christmas. Even if they journey is likely to be a short one.

RAC spokesman, Rod Dennis, said:

“Just like Santa, millions of drivers can’t afford a breakdown getting in the way of them reaching their destinations this Christmas.

So we’re backing Highways England’s call for drivers to give their vehicles a bit of ‘TLC’ before they set out on any long journey. Simply checking things like the condition of tyres could be the key to not wasting valuable time in the cold and wet this December, broken down at the side of the road.”

simple vehicle checks can help to prevent breakdowns - image Ivanko_Brnjakovic

A pdf to help you check your vehicle

To help keep people moving this Christmas, Highways England has also produced a pdf. It shows people how to conduct basic vehicle checks before setting off this Christmas.

Those travelling over Christmas are also being reminded to make sure that they are prepared for an emergency by:

  • charging a mobile phone and taking it with them in case they run into difficulty and need to use it in emergency circumstances
  • taking warm clothing in the car with them in case of breakdowns
  • taking food and drink in the car in case of any extreme weather

Motorists can head online to the Think! website where they can watch bespoke videos showing how to carry out basic vehicle checks.

Ninety-nine per cent of motorways and strategic A roads will be roadworks-free in time for Christmas. This means motorists can enjoy journeys with as little disruption as possible.

To keep up to date with conditions on the roads visit Highways England or call the information line 0300 123 5000.