By William Coleman
Are you planning on getting away in the can this Christmas? Or are you going to be hitting the roads to visit family who may live a good distance away? Whatever your travel plans are this year be prepared from some extremely busy roads and some reckless drivers.
As much fun as this time of year is there is an element of added stress that we put upon ourselves to ensure things go smoothly and everyone has a smile on their face.
Getting to your chosen location for Christmas is one of those scenarios that can be quite stressful, despite your best efforts.
You seem to find that a lot of motorists think that driving fast will get them to where they want to be quicker. When in reality you almost always catch up to the chap who zoomed past you at the next of lights.
For those of you who are going to be towing at this time of year you may come up against these erratic drivers. Do what I do and just let them get on with it. You know how to drive and tow safely so let them run the risk.
It has been estimated that this Christmas there will be around 31,000,000 leisure trips taken. Out of this number I am sure quite a few will have a caravan hitched to the back.
Unfortunately with the ever growing number of people getting away in the vans over winter, and Christmas, the amount of accidents and incidents is on the rise.
A report was recently completed a driving electronics company called Snooper which found that over 6,000 accidents had been reported in icy and snowy conditions, with more than 1,000 serious injuries and 114 fatalities. With such high numbers it is being advised that extra care is being taken when getting away over Christmas.
Analysis by the Snooper found that 6,334 accidents have been reported during wintery weather over the last five years. The data showed the severity of the injuries sustained, with 1,288 serious injuries and 114 fatalities occurring in snow or icy conditions.
Almost two thirds of the injuries (62%) that were sustained in the five year period were caused when ice was on the ground.
More than 1,000 of the injuries sustained occurred in Scotland, with 86 of those accidents taking place in the Highlands, more than in any other area of the country.
Scotland was followed by the South East, with 752 accidents in the wintery weather and Yorkshire and the Humber, reported 647 incidents.
Drivers in Kent are most at risk in the South East region, with 128 accidents occurring in the county, followed by Surrey with 101.
Stephen Gill, Product Marketing Manager at Snooper.eu, said: “The roads become extremely busy over Christmas with people travelling to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
“Last year, it was estimated that Brits would take an extra 2.5 million car journeys the weekend before Christmas. Those additional vehicles on the road create extra hazards for motorists to look out for, without considering the harsh winter conditions.
“We’re hoping that our analysis will help to contextualise the extra risk to motorists trying to drive through snow or ice and make drivers think twice before making unnecessary journeys.
“When it’s not possible to avoid driving in these conditions, it’s important to remain cautious and give yourself extra time to make your journey. That means reducing your speed as well as accelerating and decelerating gradually to make sure you don’t lose control. Always ensure that you give yourself extra time and are fully prepared for your journey.”
Injuries By Region
South East- 752
Yorkshire and the Humber- 647
North West- 619
East Midlands- 546
West Midlands- 538
East of England- 521
South West- 445
North East- 337