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Driving home for Christmas? Here’s how to give live location updates

New research from WhatsApp shows that 4 in 10 of us are late home when we’re doing the cross-country Christmas drive. Want to give your loved ones a heads-up about that traffic jam? This live location feature could save your turkey this Christmas.

In the UK, it’s illegal to text or call on your mobile while you’re at the wheel – even if you’re stopped at a traffic light. Next year, laws are expected to get even tougher to reflect new smartphone capabilities, with drivers prohibited from browsing the internet, scrolling through playlists and using their camera.

Despite the laws, nearly half of us are tempted to reach out for our mobiles while we’re on the road, according to a poll conducted by WhatsApp.

Related: WhatsApp voice calls have a great new feature

The company thinks it’s got the perfect solution for timing-woes this Christmas. In a festive plea to drivers, it’s asked WhatsApp users to switch on the app’s Live Location feature so your relatives can check your progress as they get the turkey in the oven.

One third of drivers who are behind schedule arrive home over an hour late. Sharing your live location should hopefully avoid any culinary timing issues and put your mind at rest. Want to access the feature? Here’s how to do it.

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First, open the conversation where you want to share your location – or create a new group where you want to do this. Next, you need to hit the plus button if you’re on an iPhone, or the paperclip symbol if you’re using an Android.

From here, navigate to the location settings, turn on the ‘share live location’ feature and then set the time. You can share your location for 15 minutes, one hour or eight hours, depending on the length of your Christmas drive back home.

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