Why you'll need to stay in on July 13th
So what do we need to beware of, and when is it safe to go out?
Most dangerousSolicitors Edwards Hoyle discovered that July is the most dangerous month - seeing 11% of all personal injury claims. Within the month, the 13th was the peak for accidents.
David Edwards, managing partner, told AOL: "I was surprised. You might have thought that winter would be the peak time for accidents, so its ironic that accidents are more likely to happen in the middle of the summer when there are none of the hazards of winter."
Conversely, the safest month is January - when just 5% of accident claims are made - particularly on 31st.
He added "Obviously, all personal injury cases are examples of misfortune and, more often than not, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, so it can happen anywhere and anytime. However, it would appear from our case data from the past 2 years that the month of July and the date of the 13th are the ones to watch when it comes to personal injury being more likely to strike. Perhaps it is best to stay in bed that day and try not to exert yourself too much!"
Why?The reasons are complex and wide-ranging, but to a great degree it is to do with our risk awareness. In the summer we are more likely to be relaxed, and therefore possibly less likely to be focused on the risks of our environment. In the winter, when we go out we are acutely aware of the hazards surrounding us.
Similarly, the long summer days are more likely to see us out and about - and the long winter nights huddled under a blanket somewhere far safer.
So where are the risks?Typically the risks have lain to a large extent in the workplace. However, Edwards says that there has been a real reduction in workplace accidents. He says: "Figures from the Health and Safety Executive have shown a general decline in workplace accidents in nine of the last ten years - which has averaged around 3% a year in the last decade."
Meanwhile, the number of claims arising from traffic accidents have been on the increase. He says: "This has partly been to do with the activities of claims management companies which may be encouraging people to make a claim when they otherwise wouldn't."
On past form, therefore, you can stay at work as long as you like on July 13th - as long as you walk there - carefully.
All changeHowever, a couple of trends may conspire to catch you out. The first is that the workplace may be exposed to more risks in future. Edwards explains: "The government has announced moves towards cutting 'red tape', which will include a reduction in Health and Safety inspections. The reality is that this will lead to more accidents."
At the same time, claims from traffic accidents are expected to fall, as the government bans referral fees, so that insurance companies will not be able to sell details of accidents on to solicitors who specialise in pursuing claims.
So for now, stay off the road and in the workplace on July 13th.... but watch this space.