Motorists warned as most dangerous day to drive falls this week – ‘be prepared’

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The last minute Christmas shopping rush results in more car park smashes than any other day in Britain according to an insurance giant. Admiral car insurance examined its claims data to discover a big spike in car park collisions on December 24, in addition to a rise in accidents in general throughout the month.

And it’s not just Christmas Eve that UK drivers should be extra vigilant as December 23 is the fourth most likely day to be involved in a smash.

Admiral took insurance information from the past nine years and discovered just how risky it can be to operate a car at the end of the year.

Fridays in December had some of the highest claim rates in any given year, including all accidents, not just those happening in car parks.

Bad weather, more cars on the roads and anxiety brought on by the Christmas rush all feed into the rise.

Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral said: “Last year lockdown restrictions saw less traffic on the roads in the run-up to Christmas.

“But this year we’re expecting more typical traffic volumes with many drivers taking to the roads to visit friends and family, hit the shops and enjoy festive days out.

“Our claims analysis found that even though January 18 has the highest volume of accident claims in the year, December has more days in the top 10 highest claim volumes than any other month.”

The insurer also urged drivers to take much more care when heading out on the roads during the winter.

“We know the winter months can bring some of the most difficult situations for motorists to try and navigate, and this probably plays a part in the number of accidents we see taking place on the road at this time of year,” said Ms Connelly.

“Darker days and bad weather mean difficult driving conditions.

“On top of that, the lead up to Christmas can be a stressful time, with many of us having a long list of things to do.

“Because our festive celebrations were limited by last year’s lockdown, many drivers may be planning more journeys this December… and it’s best to be prepared.”

Admiral also put together a list of tips to follow when driving in difficult winter weather.

Plan ahead: Pack a bag with anything you’ll need for the trip the night before. Plan a route, and check for any potential road works or traffic black spots before heading off.

Car maintenance: A well-maintained car isn’t just more reliable – it’s also safer. Basic car maintenance should only take a few minutes before setting off. Top up engine coolant, check oil levels and tyre pressure.

Concentrate: Driving while tired or low on energy is one of the biggest mistakes, so try and get a good night’s sleep. We often pay the least attention to our driving when using regular routes, so try not to become complacent.

Technology to the rescue: Listen out for traffic alerts on the radio. Consider using an app like Waze – a live sat nav which uses data from other motorists to build a picture of traffic conditions including accidents and detours.

Keep calm and carry on: Relax and try to avoid road rage incidents. If another driver is being confrontational or aggressive, don’t make eye contact, don’t react and let them go on ahead. If at fault, admit it, apologise, and move on.

You’re not alone: Familiar routes can often be the most dangerous because there’s a danger of driving on autopilot. Stick to the speed limit and stay extra-alert for other road users.

Are you sitting comfortably? Sitting in the same position in the car for long periods is a leading cause of neck and back pain. This can be made worse if feeling stressed. Try to do a few easy exercises behind the wheel when it’s safe to do so, and try to drive in a relaxed position to reduce stress on your spine.

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