Christmas traffic jams: What to expect on the roads in Sweden today

The Christmas holidays are here, and bringing with them one of the most traffic-heavy weekends of the year. Here's what you need to know if you're driving this week.

Christmas traffic jams: What to expect on the roads in Sweden today
Driving home for Christmas? Read this first. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Christmas Eve falls on a Tuesday this year, and many Swedish employers offer the Monday preceding any public holiday as an extra day off, while others choose to take it as holiday to extend the festive period. So for lots of people across the country, Friday was the last working day before Christmas.

That's good news as it means the holiday traffic should be spread out across more days than usual.

But on two days in particular, the roads are set to be crowded.

“We know that the main travel days on the railways indicate that this is also when car traffic is at its most intense,” said Bengt Olsson from the Swedish Transport Administration.

The first of those days this year was Friday, December 20th, and the second falls on Monday, December 23rd, with slightly more cars expected to be on the roads on the Friday.

“Take it easy in traffic and go easy on the accelerator,” said Olsson.

He advised motorists to keep their distance from the car in front, indicate clearly when needed, and stay up to date on road conditions.

Road conditions vary significantly in different parts of the country and can change quickly, especially in northern Sweden. 

In large parts of the country, from Värmland and Dalarna and further north, meteorologists warned of slippery conditions. And it was expected to rain in southern Sweden on Monday.

Meteorologists also warned of possible fog in several parts of Sweden on Monday.

Using main beams in foggy conditions often reduces visibility, and it is usually better to use your fog lights. But also remember that dipped beam headlights may not be used together with front fog lights in Sweden.

The busiest part of the Swedish road network over the Christmas weekend will be the E4 that runs from Helsingborg via Jönköping to Stockholm, Uppsala, Gävle and Sundsvall.

And it is likely to be especially congested at Ljungby along this route, where roadworks are in progress meaning a single lane and speed reductions are in place.

Other holiday traffic hotspots are the national road 40 between Gothenburg and Borås and the E22 from Norrköping to Kalmar.

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