Beware of Black Saturday

The most dangerous time to be on Britain’s roads this year is Saturday, 21 July at 2.30pm, according to new research.

‘Black Saturday’ occurs because of a perfect storm of factors including peak traffic volumes in July, the start of the children’s school holidays and the great summer getaway all happening at the same time.

The most dangerous day on the roads has been identified by SmartWitness, using official Department of Transport data and its own insurance reports showing peak times for collisions in previous years.

More vehicle collisions occur in the summer months of July and August – 2,330 serious and fatal collisions in July and 2,148 in August.

Despite the fact that winter months generally bring more difficult driving conditions like icy roads and poor visibility, there are 27.5% more road incidents in the summer – 33,312 in July and August, compared with the winter 26,122 (January and February).

This increase is due to the greater number of motorists on the roads, with the vast majority of families choosing to take their summer holidays at this time. Incidents rise sharply during June and July, hitting a peak at the end of July.

This year, Saturday 21 July is the predicted to be busiest day of the year on the roads. Saturdays are the worst day for crashes during the summer when car drivers are nearly twice as likely (1.7 times) to be distracted or impaired in their driving compared to weekdays. The busiest time on the roads will be at 2.30pm when the ‘great escape’ is in full flow.

SmartWitness chief executive Paul Singh said, ‘We are asking motorists to be extra vigilant 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 21st is likely to provide the perfect storm for poor driving conditions.’