To be precise, new research suggests that 2pm on Saturday 22 July represents the exact time a perfect storm of conditions – including increased traffic volumes resulting from the start of the school holidays and the great summer getaway – could converge to create a peak in road accidents.
In-vehicle CCTV experts VisionTrack studied official Department of Transport data to identify the date and time most at risk of road accidents. The data showed that most collisions occur in July and August, hitting a peak at the end of July when families take to the roads for the start of their summer holidays. This Saturday is predicted to be the busiest day of the year on UK roads, but Saturdays are the worst day for accidents during the summer with car drivers almost twice as likely to be distracted or impaired in their driving compared to weekdays.
Last year there were 2,330 serious and fatal collisions in July and 2,148 in August. In comparison, the two safest months were January (1,578) and February (1,544), despite the winter season bringing challenging conditions such as less daylight hours, poor visibility, and wet or icy roads.
VisionTrack managing director Simon Marsh said: “We are asking motorists to take extra special care when starting out on their summer holidays. The most common cause of road collisions is not poor road conditions or your car, it’s bad driving. The summer months have the highest number of road collisions and Saturday July 22nd is likely to provide the perfect storm for poor driving conditions. It will be first day of the summer holidays for many families and there will be extremely large numbers of motorists taking to the roads. Cars will be packed full of children and luggage, which means that drivers will be more stressed and distracted than usual, as they make their way to airports and holiday destinations. As a result this day is expected to have the highest number of incidents for the whole of the year.”