For UK drivers, December means short days, lousy weather and increased holiday traffic. And as if that isn’t enough, there’s a whole bunch of Christmas-related shenanigans to contend with. Weird and mostly wonderful, we’ve listed our top seven Xmas distractions that will test your driving concentration.
1. Extreme Christmas House Lights
Most of us like a few Christmas lights, but for some home owners, a big part of Christmas is making their house visible from space. And good luck to them!
The only problem is that if you’re not used to seeing Las Vegas suddenly appear on your route home, it can be a wee bit hard to keep your eyes on the road.
Distraction rating: 9/10
2. Terrible Fancy Dress Costumes
Sightings of terrible fancy dress costumes increase exponentially as Christmas approaches. Personally, we find that the poorer the costume, the more our eyes are magnetically drawn towards it.
Take the very unconvincing He-Man costume above – we don’t want to look at it, but we can’t stop looking at that wig and furry whatsit. Which is fine, unless you’re behind the wheel at the time.
Distraction rating: 8/10
3. Christmas Drunks
Who doesn’t love a Christmas drunk? Whether they’re relieving themselves in a shop doorway, arguing with the police for no reason, or just dropping their pizza box in your garden, they’re determined to have a Christmas so good that they can’t remember it. With less road sense than a startled partridge, the Christmas Drunk represent a significant hazard to anyone driving through a town centre.
Distraction rating: 9/10
4. Invisible Cyclists
For some reason, the festive season seems to bring out even more dark-clad ninja cyclists. They are an example of the opposite problem: where something is a danger because it’s not distracting enough.
The dash-cam shot above illustrates what we mean. Did you spot the cyclist straight away? If not, he’s tucked away on the bottom-left. Joking aside, cyclists without lights or hi-vis kit are downright dangerous.
Distraction rating: 0/10
Danger rating: 7/10
5. People Doing Quite Unusual Things
“I’m sorry officer, I shunted your patrol vehicle because I was watching the progress of that group of Santa-themed synchronised inline-skating young women.”
The Christmas period finds normal human beings doing all sorts of unlikely things. It might be for charity or because someone in the office thought it would be a giggle. Unfortunately our brains are wired to look at people doing strange things more than looking at the car in front!
Distraction rating: 6/10
6. Dogs in Christmas Outfits
Dog owners: contrary to popular belief, your dog doesn’t understand Christmas. He really has zero idea why you are decking him out with antlers, flashing lights, a red coat or booties. However, he does like going for walks and for that reason alone will put up with your nonsense.
As a driver, whether you find Christmas dog outfits distracting depends on whether your reaction is ‘Awwwww! Looklooklooklook!” or just “meh!”
Distraction Rating: 4/10
7. A Car That Looks Like This!
To be honest, you’re very unlikely to see something like this coming towards you. This is really just an excuse to revisit this splendid effort that we mentioned last year. All we can do is salute the mad-as-toast owner.
Distraction rating: 13/10