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Our data science guru Richard is a fount of necessarily fascinating (and indeed valuable) information. Invariably, when just chatting in the office on random stuff, conjecture can turn readily to ‘I wonder what the data says?’.  As it did this week when we were conjecting on difference in styles and behaviours between ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ (my fave Christmas song EVER, sorry Sam) and, well, the other end of the festive season, turn of the year/new year’s resolutions/my birthday month – January driving?

So once again, Richard spun the insightful wheels of analysis amongst our hundreds of thousands of drivers and billions of miles driven, and came up with the below:

2018/19 December January % change
Incidents 1505 847 -44%
KM per incident 182km 323km +77%

Now we recognise that this is but a snapshot of one Dec/Jan axis, and just two metrics, but seems quite compelling, yes?  In comparing the number of reported incidents between December 2018 and January 2019, the 44% fall is instantly dramatic. The second parameter, the number of km per incident is even more so, a 77% increase demonstrating a real change in journey safety across these two periods.

Of course, there are qualifying factors: more absolute drivers on the road perhaps doing more journeys in December?  But are there also some underlying behaviours that are hinted at?  December is party, shopping and of course family time.  Do we endure greater time pressure to ‘get things done’; we want to get to the pleasurable bits (Christmas lunch, sprouts for me?!) and certainly do not relish the tiresome?  Does that family time in fact produce stresses that carry on into the journey home?

And in January, are we simply dashing about less; we have the torpor of the (weather?) and the New Year hangover, prompting degrees  less urgency and perhaps a less aggressive approach to both commute and long journeys?

The underlying message for us of course is to advise: just take that little bit more care, reduce the urgency, lift the right foot slightly – and enjoy your months and year of driving in 2020!