Celebrated by thousands of people in countries all around the world, Diwali marks the start of the Hindu New Year.

This year Diwali falls on Sunday 27 October, but celebrations last for five days. And, with many families travelling to celebrate with loved ones, it’s important to put safety first on the roads.

Here are ten road safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this Diwali holiday season:

  1. Plan your journey well in advance so that you aren’t tempted to rush. Pack up in plenty of time, plan your route (including rest stops) and leave enough time to arrive at your destination calmly and safely. Travel outside of peak times if you can.
  2. Prepare your vehicle so it is as safe as possible for you and your family. Carry out basic checks to make sure things like lights and brakes are working correctly, fluid levels are topped up and tyres, mirrors, windows and seat belts are not damaged.
  3. Avoid overloading your vehicle. Carrying too many passengers means there are not enough seat belts for everyone. An overloaded vehicle also affects handling, increases your stopping distance and can cause damage to the road.
  4. Let people know your travel plans, such as the route you will be taking and your estimated time of arrival.
  5. Make sure you are well-rested before your journey so that you are alert during your trip. Plan for rest breaks every 200 miles/2 hours so you can stretch your legs.
  6. Be patient while driving. Busier roads tend to mean more frustrated drivers. Keep calm and resist driving faster because you’re running late.
  7. Focus on the drive, avoiding distractions (such as mobile phones) and impairment. If you drink ANY alcohol, don’t drive.
  8. Obey traffic rules, including seat belts, speed limits and – if you’re riding a two-wheeler – wearing a helmet.
  9. Be aware that people might set off firecrackers in/ beside the road. Driving at a safe speed and avoiding distractions should enable you to stop safely in the event of this happening. Keep windows closed while driving to prevent stray firecrackers from entering your car.
  10. Look out for others on the road, including pedestrians, two-wheelers, children and animals. Remember that other people might be impaired so take extra care.