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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.