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Sri Lanka- transport

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We have just booked flights to Sri Lanka arriving about 3.00am on the 29th December.
A rough plan is to visit the south west and be able to swim (looking at Unawatuna) for several days.
Also visit Kandy and the tea-country.
We are taking on board advice to hire a car and driver(- at least for the part where we do the most travelling so the journey between Colombo - Kandy -Unawatuna).
We are wondering at this stage whether having a car meet us on arrival at the airport and going directly to Unawatuna is safe? Looking at the fact that it will by then be at least 5am and I don't want a driver who will have been awake all night.
As against that the traffic through Colombo may be lighter at that time of day.
The option would be to start by heading up to Kandy which would be a shorter journey.
No accomodation booked yet.
How do we find a safe driver?
Thanks

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