January 29, 2016

WARNING: think very very carefully whether you really want to drive home tonight.

We’re not talking about all the usual nonsense about being trapped in a loveless marriage amidst the myriad oppressive entanglements of a domestic routine that stopped making sense a long long time ago. No, we’re talking about taking a pragmatic tactical decision to take a rain check on a surefire date with a deadly destiny of the RTA carnage variety.

Of all the days you could possibly choose to get behind the wheel, turn on Armchair FM, and set the controls for the heart of Dunroamin, today is the very worst possible day of the entire year. Worse than Friday 13th, worse than Black Monday, worse even than Mauvey-Pink Wednesday. Better stay at the office tonight than risk almost certain calamity by chancing your luck on day of the UK’s most deadliest drivetime.

Not scared yet? Well, get this, O Skeptical One: last year there were 74% more accidents on January 29 than on an average UK day. That’s according to some very frightening numbers concocted by accident trading platform the Accident Exchange for the express purpose of getting their name (that’s the Accident Exchange) in the papers.

And on top of that, Readers, 29 January this year falls on a Friday (never a good day for driving anywhere, let’s face it) and on a day when there could be all type of wind and rain and shizz going down. So be warned – get some extra sandwiches in, and maybe a bottle or two of pop, and snuggle down on that sofa in reception with a couple of colleagues and some trade magazines, and then simply weather it out til midnight, when it will stop being 29 Jan and become 30 Jan, an altogether safer day to drive.

If you do insist on heading home, at least wait until after 6pm. January Fridays, with everyone dashing off home in the dark at exactly the same time makes it 53% more dangerous than driving at any other time during the preceding six hours. Ask your boss (assuming you still have one) if you can b*gger off early because you don’t want to fall foul of the entire year’s most dangerous driving conditions. Or stay chatting to the gang in reception for an hour or two. Maybe they’ll share their pop and trade mags if you’re nice.

To give you a better chance of surviving today’s traffic terrors, the Accident Exchange have compiled a list of top tips for drivers who don’t have a death wish, a version of which (we’ve just tidied it up and focused on the important bits) appears below:

1. Look where you’re going
2. Concentrate!
3. Make sure “your blades are clean” and top your “windscreen washer” up with “washer fluid”
4. Remove snow, ice, and mist from vehicle windows, so you can see out of them
5. Put your headlights on, so you can see where you are going and other drivers can see you
6. Allow “extra time” and don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly (Lovely thought that, isn’t it! Saw it on a sticker on a flowery lady’s car the other day)
7. Don’t drive right up anyone’s *rse if it’s all snowy or icy or whatever, and remember to always look way off into the distance – because cars take a long time to stop when they’re sliding on ice
8. Use low gears – that horrible constricted straining sound is a good thing: you want that sound – especially if you drive down a hill or something
9. Pack for disaster: take warm outdoor clothes, a reflectable jacket, torches, spades, flares (the distress signal kind, not the trousers), flasks of hot tea or coffee, a fully-charged mobile phone, and maybe a couple of tennis rackets and some string in case you need to travel a long way across a desolate snowy landscape
10. Don’t fuss around, Fool. Your life is on the line!

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