For three consecutive years the insurance company has seen claims relating to car collisions and bumps increase by 129 per cent on December 17 compared to a typical day of the year.
The Co-operative has dubbed the date ‘Danger Day’ – the day of the year when car crashes are twice as likely to occur.
Head of motor insurance Grant Mitchell said: “Our data shows that people are more likely to be involved in a car crash on December 17 than any other day of the year.
“This is probably down to a combination of the ‘pre-Christmas rush’ when everyone is dashing to the supermarket or to buy last minute gifts along with the fact that people also feel tired and sluggish from the Christmas party season, which makes it harder to concentrate on the road.
“Of course, when these factors are combined with busy roads, bad weather and the fact that the days are at their shortest, accidents can and do happen.”
The claims data shows that more accidents occur in the week before Christmas than any other week of the year, with claims relating to car crashes up by 94 per cent between December 17 and 23.
It also highlights the UK’s accident ‘hotspots’, with four times as many crashes likely to take place in Ipswich on December 17 than the average UK town or city.
The data aksi shows that Ford Focuses are most commonly involved in car crashes on ‘Danger Day’. Vauxhall Astras are second most likely to be in a car crash followed by Ford Fiestas
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at road safety charity Brake says: “We all have a lot on our minds in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s vital we don’t sacrifice the safety of ourselves, our families and other people as a result.
“We urge drivers to plan ahead to make journeys as stress free and safe as possible – leave extra time for possible hold-ups so you’re not tempted to speed, and make sure you can get home safely from festivities, using a taxi or public transport, or with a designated driver who stays completely off the alcohol.
“And if the weather’s bad, avoid driving if you possibly can. Staying safe over the holidays is the most important thing, and by making a commitment to driving responsibly and legally we can help prevent devastating tragedies on roads this Christmas.”