Insurer expecting rise in car crashes on Saturday

December 17, 2011
  • ‘Danger Day’: 17 December worst day of year for car crashes
  • Bumps and smashes up 94% overall in week before Christmas
  • Ford Focus drivers in more crashes than any other road user

Next Saturday (17 December) is the worst day of the year for car crashes, according to data from The Co-operative Insurance. For three consecutive years the insurance company has seen claims relating to car collisions and bumps increase by 129% 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 twice as likely to occur.

Grant Mitchell, Head of motor insurance at The Co-operative, said: “Our data shows that people are more likely to be involved in a car crash on 17 December than any other day of the year.

“This is probably down to a combination of the ‘pre-Christmas rush’ when everyone is dashing 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.”

The claims data 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 94% between 17 and 23 December.

It also highlights the UK’s accident ‘hotspots’, with four times as many crashes likely to take place in Ipswich 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 Ipswich 4 times as many
2 Birmingham 3.5 times as many
3 Uxbridge 3.5 times as many
4 Glasgow 3 times as many
5 Brighton 3 times as many


Furthermore, the data shows that Ford Focuses are most commonly involved in car crashes on 17 December. Vauxhall Astras are second most likely to be in a car crash followed by Ford Fiestas (see full table below).**Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at road safety charity Brake says: “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. We urge drivers to 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, and make sure you can get home safely from festivities, using a taxi or public transport, or with a designated driver who stays completely off the alcohol. And if the weather’s bad, avoid driving if you possibly can. Staying safe over the holidays is the most important thing, and by making a commitment to driving responsibly and legally we can help prevent devastating tragedies on roads this Christmas.”

Notes to editors

* Claims relating to car accidents have increased by an average of 129% compared to a typical day of the year on 17 December 2008, 2009 and 2010

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

*** 4 times more accidents took place in vehicles registered to an Ipswich post code between 2008 – 2010 (aggregated figures) compared to the UK average.

Top 10 cars most frequently involved in car accidents on 17 December, according to The Co-operative Insurance

Number Car make and model
1 Ford Focus
2 Vauxhall Astra
3 Ford Fiesta
4 Vauxhall Corsa
5 Ford Mondeo
6 Renault Megane
7 Nissan Micra
8 Renault Clio
9 Volkswagen Golf
10 Volkswagen Polo


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.

For further information please contact

Nuala Ryan
Senior Press Officer

Corporate Affairs
The Co-operative Banking Group
10th Floor, Miller Street
Manchester M60 0AL

t: 0161 903 3808  m: 07702 505625