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If you've managed to make it through January 16 without needing to notify your van insurance company of an accident, you have done well; January 16 is the most accident-prone day of the year in the UK, according to data from a motor insurance company.

It has long been known that January is the worst month of the year for accidents and van insurance claims, so, in a way, it makes sense that the 16th would be the worst day for collisions; it falls right in the middle of the month. January 18 and January 13 were the fourth and fifth worst days respectively.

The data shows that on January 16 there are 420 collisions per hour in the UK, which equates to one every 8.57 seconds.

Why are there so many accidents in January?

It is easy to see why there might be a disproportionate number of accidents in January. Not only are daylight hours at their shortest, but there are also climatic variables such as cold and frosty mornings, high winds, flooding and black ice to contend with. Furthermore, many may also be worn out by or ‘coming down’ from the Christmas period. One thing is surprising, however: drivers tend to cover fewer miles in January so in theory have less opportunity to become involved in an accident.

What is the most common kind of January accident?

The majority of January crashes involve one vehicle rear-ending another, while the difficulty of January driving conditions is reflected in the fact that the second most common type of insurance claim is for single-vehicle collisions. The third most common January motor insurance claim is for incidents involving a parked or stationary vehicle.

The causes, a statistical breakdown

Driver explanations for the accidents tally with the notion that January makes for a perfect storm when it comes to road safety. Drivers said their accidents were caused by poor concentration (24 per cent), bad weather (20 per cent), poor visibility (20 per cent) and tiredness (10 per cent).