LOS ANGELES - More Californians crash their cars on Dec. 15 than any other day of the year, according to an Allstate Insurance Co. review of its California auto insurance claims over the past four years.
The number of accident claims on Dec. 15 jumps 23 percent compared to the daily average during the rest of the year, the company said.
"This spike in crashes could be related to weather, holiday shopping, travel or other distractions," said Robert Feldman, Allstate agency owner in metro Los Angeles. "What's important for drivers is that we stay focused while at the wheel whether on the highway or in the driveway -- on Dec. 15 and every day of the year."
Crunching the numbers on its California car accident claims, Allstate found that the daily average number involving its policyholders during the past four years is 435. On Dec. 15 that number jumps to 539. The fourth worst day of the year is just three days later. On Dec. 18 the average number of claims is 523.
According to Allstate, the top five days for collision claims in California are Dec. 15, Feb. 14, Oct. 13, Dec. 18 and Sept. 5.
Allstate offers these three safety tips to help drivers steer clear of crashes:
- Eliminate distractions. Cell phones, channel changing and shifting packages are all common distractions that can take our minds off our driving. Turn off the phone, place packages in the trunk and make your listening choice before putting the car in gear.
- Drive according to conditions. Rain, snow, high winds, even bright sunshine can all affect driving. Allow space between you and the nearest vehicle, slow down in congested areas and understand that another driver may be distracted -- so drive defensively.
- Don't drink and drive. Holiday cheer has no place behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds drivers to keep the party off the road. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver, call a cab or use public transportation if you've been drinking alcohol.
To collect the data, Allstate looked at its California auto insurance accident claims from 2006 through 2009 to determine daily claim counts and the average number of claims for each day. The company, the country's second largest auto insurance provider, used the data to reveal days when automobile insurance accident claims are most prevalent.