Warning from insurance giant as the most dangerous weekend for driving this festive season approaches

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Data on accident claims from Amiral auto insurance found that statistically this weekend is the most dangerous weekend of the year to drive.

Analysis of Admiral’s claims records over the past nine years shows that December 4 and 5, which fall on a weekend this year, saw more claims compared to any other date in December.

Throughout the year, December 5 and 4 have the second and third highest claim volumes, respectively, with only January 18 having more auto accident claims each year. In addition, half of the first ten days with the highest volume of accident claims fall in December.

The Admiral also reveals that Fridays in December have some of the highest claim volumes of the year. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Fridays in December are all among the first five days of the week for accident claims, with only the 3rd Friday in January having more claims.

50% of the first 10 days for accident claims 2012 – 2020 are in December

The 3rd Friday of January

The 3rd Friday of December

The 1st Friday of December

The 2nd Friday of December

The 4th Friday of November

The 2nd Thursday of December

The 1st Friday of February

The 1st Friday of November

The 1st Thursday of December

The 1st Wednesday of December

Christmas Eve was also revealed to be a vigilant day for drivers, as December 24 saw the highest number of parking lot collision claims of the year.

“Last year’s lockdown restrictions saw less traffic on the roads heading into Christmas, but this year we expect more typical traffic volumes with many drivers taking to the roads to visit. their friends and family, go shopping and enjoy the festive days outside, ”explained Lorna Connelly, Claims Manager at Admiral.

“Our claims analysis found that while January 18 has the highest accident claim volume of the year, December 4 and 5, which fall this weekend, has the second and third claim volumes. highest accident rates. Additionally, December has more days in the top 10 highest claim volumes than any other month.

“We know that the winter months can bring some of the most difficult situations for motorists to try to navigate, and this probably plays a role in the number of accidents we see happening on the road at this time of the year. Darker days and inclement weather mean tough driving conditions. On top of that, the time leading up to Christmas can be a stressful time, with many of us having a long to-do list, so it is It is especially important that all drivers are well prepared for any trip they make in December.

“Because our festive celebrations were limited by last year’s lockdown, many drivers may be planning more trips in December. No matter how long the drive takes, whether it’s a trip to local stores or a longer drive to visit loved ones, driving in the winter can always be difficult and it pays to be prepared.

To help with driving during the winter months, Admiral has created a few tips to help drivers drive safely and stress-free during this festive time.

  1. Plan ahead – prepare a bag with everything you will need for the trip the day before. Plan your route and check for any road works or traffic black spots before setting off.
  2. Maintenance of the car – basic car maintenance should only take a few minutes before you leave. Add engine coolant, check oil levels and tire pressure. A well-maintained car is not only more reliable, it is also safer.
  3. Focus – Driving while tired or low on energy is one of the biggest mistakes, so try to get a good night’s sleep. Regular routes can become a time when we pay the least attention to our driving, so try not to get complacent. Children who are tired or overexcited in the back can also interfere with your concentration, so make sure they are busy.
  4. Technology to the rescue – at a basic level, listen to traffic alerts on the radio. Consider using an app like Waze – a live satellite navigation system that uses data from other motorists to create a picture of traffic conditions, including crashes and detours. Switch to a car with modern driving aids like Adaptive Cruise Control which automatically adjusts your vehicle’s speed to keep pace with the car in front of you (great on highways).
  5. Keep Calm and carry on – relax and try to avoid road rage incidents. If another driver is aggressive or confrontational, don’t make eye contact, don’t react and let them continue. If you made a mistake, admit it, apologize and move on.
  6. You’re not alone – familiar routes can often be the most dangerous as there is a risk of driving on autopilot. Obey the speed limits and remain very vigilant for other road users. Also watch out for pedestrians who are looking at their cell phones or who have been partying in a pub and who may not be focusing on traffic.
  7. Are you comfortably seated? – Sitting in the same position in the car for long periods of time is one of the main causes of neck and back pain. It can be made worse if you feel stressed. Try to do some easy driving exercises when it is safe to do so, and try to drive in a relaxed position to reduce stress on your spine. In a traffic jam, try squeezing your butt, shrugging your shoulders and seat splints (strain and relax by pushing your hands into the steering wheel and your back into the seat).
  8. Listen to festive music – research suggests singing reduces stress and is a natural antidepressant, so sing along to music while driving. However, a recent survey found that drivers who listen to rock, hip-hop, and heavy metal are more likely to pull away, accelerate, and have traffic accidents. On the other hand, those who like classical or pop music were less stressed when traveling. Create a playlist of festive music and songs that will lift your spirits and forget about the stress on the road.

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