An urgent safety warning has been issued to every driver planning to use their car this weekend.
Data from Admiral Car Insurance has revealed this weekend is set to be the most dangerous weekend of the year to drive statistically.
Records from the last nine years shows the 4 and 5 December tend to have more accident claims registered compared to any other December dates, reports Hull Live.
READ MORE:DVLA issues urgent warning to elderly over £81 charge
Half of the top ten days with the highest volume of accident claims fall in December with Fridays in December having some of the highest claim volumes in the year.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Fridays in December all feature in the top five days of the weeks for accident claims with only the 3rd Friday in January having more claims.
Across the year the 5 and 4 December have the second and third highest claims volumes respectively, with only 18 January having more car accident claims each year.
Christmas Eve was also revealed as a watch out day for drivers, as 24 December sees the most claims for car park collisions in the year.
“Last year lockdown restrictions saw l ess 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," explained Lorna Connelly, Head of Claims at Admiral.
“Our claims analysis found that even though 18 January has the highest volume of accident claims in the year, 4 and 5 December, which fall this weekend have the second and third highest accident claim volumes. Furthermore, December has more days in the top 10 highest claim volumes than any other month.
“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 on the number of accidents we see taking place on the road at this time of year. Darker days and bad weather mean difficult driving conditions. On top of that, the lead up to Christma s can be a stressful time, with many of us having a long list of things to do, so it’s especially important 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 journeys this December. No matter how long the journey, whether it be to local shops or a longer journey to visit loved ones, driving in winter weather can always be challenging and it’s best to be prepared.”
To help with driving during the winter months, Admiral has created some tips to help drivers have a safe, stress-free drive during this festive period.
- 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 you were 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 limits and stay extra alert for other road users. Also, watch out for pedestrians who are looking at their mobile phones or have been celebrating in the pub and may not be concentrating on the traffic.
- 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 you’re feeling stressed. Try and do a few easy exercises behind the wheel when it’s safe to do so and try and drive in a relaxed position to reduce stress on your spine. In a traffic jam, try buttock clenches, shoulder shrugs and seat braces (tensing and relaxing by pushing your hands into the steering wheel and your back into the seat).
- Listen to festive music – research suggests that singing reduces stress and is a natural anti-depressant, 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 tailgate, speed and get into traffic accidents. On the other hand, those who enjoy classical or pop music were less stressed out during their journeys. Make a playlist of festive music and songs that will lift your spirits and take your mind off any stresses on the road.
Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here