General Insurance Article - Warning to young drivers this Christmas

From Brussels sprouts to mistletoe, December brings with it traditions aplenty, including seasonal get-togethers – and the increased risk of having a car accident. New data released by insurethebox shows that accident risk increases significantly in the run up to Christmas by a total of 22%

 Drink driving plays a key role in this risk. Young drivers are 6.52 times more at risk of an accident as a result of drink driving than someone in their 40s, according to data from insurethebox. This echoes calls for drivers to be mindful of the season’s increased accident risks following the release of THINK!’s Christmas road safety campaign on Friday.

 While many motorists leave their car keys at home for an evening out, insurethebox is also highlighting the amount of time it takes for the residual effects of alcohol to wear off. According to DrinkAware4, alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour. This means that drivers may still be over the legal limit the next morning –already the most dangerous time for young drivers to be on the road, according to insurethebox data.

 Even without adding alcohol to the mix, poor weather conditions in December increase the risk of an accident because of reduced daylight, and greater likelihood or rain and ice. Indeed, insurethebox reports that during December, its customers are 76% more likely to trigger an Accident Alert, one of the telematics provider’s standard features which alerts the emergency services to motorists who may have been in an accident5.

 Accident Alerts are part of an insurethebox telematics policy, and uses a number of data factors to assess a driver’s possible involvement in a collision. If a significant G-Force impact is registered, insurethebox examines the time of day, whether the vehicle is still moving, and the type of road the vehicle is on. If insurethebox detects a high impact, its team will attempt to contact the customer to check they are alright. If insurethebox is unable to reach the policyholder, its team will review and make a decision on whether to call the emergency services with the location of the vehicle.

 Simon Rewell, Road Safety Manager at insurethebox, commented: “While motorists are having fun during the festive season, we urge them to be mindful of the increased accident risk this time of year – in particular around drink driving. Drink driving significantly increases the possibility of an accident, and a drink driving conviction can include imprisonment, a fine of up to £2,500, a driving ban, and an increased insurance premium when the driver does get back on the road. It could also jeopardise an individual’s job if they drive for work. The largest proportion of failed breath tests actually happen on Sunday mornings6, which is the most dangerous for young drivers on the road, even before adding the judgment impairing effects of alcohol. It’s just not worth the risk.”

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