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Today is the most dangerous driving day – expert advice


UK road crashes on New Year’s Day are 36 percent more likely to involve death or serious injury than crashes on other days, the highest figure for any bank holiday. A record number of learner and new drivers will be on the road as the post-pandemic surge of new drivers continues. 

Around 575,000 people passed their theory test in the six months to June, the highest period on record.

This comes following the huge backlog of people who were unable to learn to drive during the pandemic, as they finally pass their theory tests.

Experts are urging drivers to remain patient when out on the road, especially as motorists may not have driven in wintry conditions before.

However, it isn’t just learner drivers that will be brushing up on their skills for the stressful holiday driving season.

READ MORE: Major new driving law changes in January 2023

Bryn Brooker, head of road safety at Nextbase, is advising drivers to remain safe as the new year gets underway, telling drivers to leave a large following distance.

He added: “Give other drivers plenty of room with a longer following distance than usual. If it is wet, double your following distance to four seconds. 

“And if it is icy it could take you 10 times longer to stop than usual – so drive slower and keep your following distance long.

“A lot of people who would usually take the train will be on the roads this holiday period, along with the huge number of people who have recently passed their theory or practical test. 

READ MORE: Petrol and diesel prices could soon drop after ‘volatile’ year

“We know that new drivers often make errors at intersections and when changing lanes. 

“At busy intersections make sure you make eye contact with other drivers who seem confused about right of way, and don’t drive through an intersection with so much speed that you wouldn’t be able to stop if necessary.”

One of the key tips to remember when out on the road is to have a good knowledge of every car around them, especially on motorways.

Even if they don’t have their indicators on, they could turn suddenly, with people wanting time and space to react if necessary.

Rail strikes are expected to hammer the country again in the first week of the new year, which will naturally see an influx of cars on the road.

New Year’s Day is also highlighted as the most dangerous day to be on the road given the increased chances of people driving drunk.

Bryn Brooker added: “New Year’s Day sees a lot of horrific crashes, with many associated with drunk or drug driving. 

“Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been partying. It’s not worth it.”

Motorists should also stay concentrated on long trips and steer clear of distractions, where possible.

If travelling with children, for example, make sure they have plenty to keep them entertained in the back seats during long drives home.



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By Felix Reeves

Felix Reeves writes all things motoring for the Cars section. He recently completed his BA in Journalism at the University of Kent.

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