The period between 10am and 11.30am on 28th December, as well as the rush hour commute and school-run times on both the 4th and 5th January are expected to be the busiest times for breakdown assistance calls from motorists this Christmas, says roadside assistance expert, Allianz Global Assistance UK.
Colin Watt, of Allianz Global Assistance UK comments: “Most calls we receive after Christmas are due to flat batteries because people don’t use their cars during the break, leaving them on a driveway. The problem is, that people tend to take short journeys, over Christmas, with the windscreen wipers going, the heating and the radio on full, which all puts pressure on the battery. In addition, we’ve seen that people leave interior car lights on by mistake which also drains the battery.
“We advise motorists to take a bit of care by making sure their lights are off and taking the car for a good run, over Christmas to boost the battery – the perfect excuse for a drive in the country for that Boxing Day walk.”
When it comes to seasonal traffic, things have shifted over the years, according to Allianz Global Assistance. Colin Watt explains: “A decade ago, Christmas Eve was when callouts for roadside assistance peaked, with large numbers of people heading off at the last minute for holidays or to stay with family and friends, facing chaos on the roads and motorway tailbacks.
“However, people now seem to make the most of the Christmas break by taking more than just the official festive bank holidays as time off, which means the traffic is more staggered and less congested. Whilst we still receive a much higher number of calls than average over the Christmas period, these calls are distributed more evenly throughout the holidays with smaller peaks here and there both before and after Christmas.”
Concludes Colin Watt: “Despite traffic being better these days, motorists still need to be on their guard. We anticipate a very busy day on 28th December, with calls expected to peak between 10am and 11.30am, as well as early morning on 4th and 5th of January, when people return to work and schools reopen.
“The good news is that we forecast a 30% increase in assistance calls on our busiest days, against the daily average, which pales in comparison to peaks of up to 50% higher in days of old. Our advice to motorists, is think ahead and check your cars in good time to avoid any delays.”