‘Danger day’: insurer expecting rise in car crashes on Monday 17 December

December 17, 2012
  • 17 December worst day of year for car crashes
  • Bumps and smashes double in week before Christmas
  • Ford Focus drivers in more crashes than any other road user

Today (17 December) is the worst day of the year for car crashes, according to claims data from The Co-operative Insurance.

A major analysis of claims data from four consecutive years shows that claims relating to car collisions and bumps increase on 17 December compared to a typical day of the year.*

The Co-operative has dubbed the date ‘Danger Day’ – the day of the year when car crashes are on average twice as likely to occur.

The data also shows 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, Head of Motor Insurance at The Co-operative, 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.”

It also shows that Ford Focus drivers are most commonly involved in car crashes on 17 December, according to The Co-operative’s data. Vauhall Astras are second most likely to be involved in bumps and smashes, followed by Vauxhall Corsas.

The claims data also shows the UK’s accident ‘hotspots’, with nearly four times as many crashes likely to take place in Glasgow on 17 December than the average UK town or city.**

Table shows UK accident ‘hotspots’, according to Co-operative Insurance data

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 Brighton 2 times as many


Grant Mitchell said: “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 Co-operative Insurance recommends a number of measures to help motorists avoid unnecessary car accidents in the run up to Christmas:

  • 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

Additional Information: 

* An analysis of more than 200,000 claims relating to car accidents shows that they have increased by an average of 205% compared to a typical day of the year on 17 December 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

** Data highlights the cars most commonly involved in road accidents over the course of a year (2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011)

About The Co-operative Banking Group

The Co-operative Banking Group, formerly known as The Co-operative Financial Services, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around six million members, over £14 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, travel, pharmacy and funeral care.  The Co-operative Group has over 5,000 retail trading outlets.

Following the merger with Britannia on 1 August 2009, the organisation is one of the largest and most highly diversified mutual businesses operating in both retail and corporate banking markets.

As part of The Co-operative Group, the business is characterised by its unique ethical and member reward policies and very high levels of customer advocacy.

The Co-operative Banking Group has £70 billion in assets, 12,000 staff and nine million customers.  It has over 300 high street branches, 20 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.  

It is the only mutual organisation that enables its members to earn financial rewards for the products they hold, as well as giving them the opportunity to have a say in how the business is run.

Contact Details

Nuala Ryan
Senior Press Officer  
The Co-operative Banking Group
t: 0161 903 3808
m: 07702 505625
e: nuala.ryan@cfs.coop