December 17 is Danger Day on Britain's roads, say insurers

Co-operative insurers says today sees twice as many claims as usual, with Glasgow the biggest blackspot

by Simon_MacMichael   December 17, 2012  

Car wheel at speed copyright Simon MacMichael.jpg

A leading insurance company has dubbed today, 17 December, ‘Danger Day’ on Britain’s roads – the day of the year that, according to analysis of past records, is likely to give rise to more claims than any other. 

According to The Co-operative Insurance, analysis from data for the past four years levels of claims spike by more than 50 per cent in the week before Christmas, with the worst day being 17 December when claims levels reach twice those of a typical day at other times of the year.

The data also show that more accidents occur in the week before Christmas than any other week of the year, with claims relating to car crashes up by 53% overall between 18 and 24 December.

Grant Mitchell, the company’s Head of Motor Insurance, said: “Our data shows that people are more likely to be involved a car accident in the run up to Christmas than any other time of the year.

“We believe this is down to a combination of the ‘pre-Christmas rush’ when everyone is going to the supermarket or to buy last minute gifts along with the fact that people also feel tired and sluggish from the Christmas party season, which makes it harder to concentrate on the road.

“Of course, when these factors are combined with busy roads, bad weather and the fact that the days are at their shortest, accidents can and do happen.”

The data also revealed the UK’s road traffic incident hotspots – at least when measured by those who insure with Co-operative – with drivers in Glasgow shown to be nearly four times more likely than the national average to lodge a claim relating to a collision on 17 December.

Number  Town/ city         Frequency of accidents 
                            compared to average

1       Glasgow              3.7 times as many
2       Birmingham           3.6 times as many
3       Uxbridge              3  times as many
4       Ipswich               3  times as many
5       South East London    2.6 times as many
6       North London         2.5 times as many
7       Brighton             2.4 times as many
8       East London          2.3 times as many
9       Guilford             2.3 times as many
10      Redhill              2.1 times as many

Mr Mitchell added: “We all have a lot on our minds in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s vital we don’t sacrifice the safety of ourselves, our families and other people as a result.

"Staying safe over the holidays is the most important thing, and by making a commitment to driving responsibly we can help prevent devastating tragedies on roads this Christmas.”

The insurer’s advice to motorists is:

· Plan ahead to make journeys as stress free and safe as possible

· Leave extra time for possible hold-ups so you’re not tempted to speed

· Make sure you can get home safely from festivities using a taxi or public transport or with a designated driver who hasn’t consumed any alcohol

· If there is snow and ice, avoid driving if you possibly can.

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I thought every day was 'Idiot on the road day!'

Been out in my car and on my bike today and didn't notice anyone was worse than usual.

posted by jimmyd [100 posts]
17th December 2012 - 19:18


Cycled seven, mostly rural, miles to the nearest town today for a meeting (your part of the world too, I think, Simon). Blue flashing lights just outside the town; cyclist lying on the floor, not moving, lots of blood, bike in hedge. PCSO confirmed they'd been knocked off by a car. It's a notoriously accident-prone road, but that's the first time I've actually encountered a cyclist being knocked off on it. There but for the grace of God...

Doctor Fegg's picture

posted by Doctor Fegg [142 posts]
17th December 2012 - 21:47


Accident on my way home. Didn't see what had happened but an ambulance was on scene. I think it was a pedestrian hit by a car that was travelling in the other direction. That stretch of road is dangerous as people go too fast.


posted by OldRidgeback [2428 posts]
17th December 2012 - 23:53


I heard there was a fatal in Southampton today, closed roads, 2 arrests, one dead cyclist...

lifes goal is not to arrive at the grave in a perfectly preserved body, but to skid in sideways yelling "yeah what a ride!"

posted by wheelsucker [54 posts]
18th December 2012 - 0:39