Half of UK motorists are set to get behind the wheel for a getaway this autumn half-term according to figures from the RAC, with more than 15m separate leisure trips planned to take place between Friday 21 and Monday 24 October.*
Saturday 22 October is set to be busiest with data from RAC Traffic Watch indicating 4.4m leisure journeys on major motorways and A-roads are planned, followed by Friday 21 and Monday 24 October when 4.1m similar trips are expected on each day. In total, across the whole half-term period including Friday 21 October, some 31m individual trips will be taken on the UK’s roads.**
RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis said: “This coming week will be the last chance for many people to have a break before Christmas so it’s understandable that millions of us are set to take to the roads to spend time with friends and family.
“We’ve had a long period of pretty settled weather recently and while things might be set to cool down a little into next week, there is still likely to be a lot of dry weather about – meaning this half-term will be a great time for families to pack up the car and get away for a day or more.
“A few basic checks of the car now can save real headaches later, so we’re advising drivers to have a look at things like oil, coolant and washer fluid levels before they set out on a long car trip. And don’t forget to check each tyre for tread and pressure – last year nearly 600 road accidents were caused by motorists driving on illegal, defective or underinflated tyres.***
“The sun lingers lower in the sky now that we are well into autumn, so anyone setting out early in the day or around sunset needs to be mindful of glare. Every year there are between 2,500 and 3,000 accidents on UK roads caused by the dazzling sun so motorists should make sure they have suitable eyewear with them that is within easy reach.”
The RAC advises that roads are likely to be busiest on the evening of Friday 21 October, when leisure and commuter traffic combine, and again on the mornings of Saturday 22 and Monday 24 October.
Predicted leisure car journeys by day
|Friday 21 October||3.8 million|
|Saturday 22 October||4.4 million|
|Sunday 23 October||3.5 million|
|Monday 24 October||3.8 million|
|Tuesday 25 October||2.5 million|
|Wednesday 26 October||2.8 million|
|Thursday 27 October||2.2 million|
|Friday 28 October||3.1 million|
|Saturday 29 October||2.8 million|
|Sunday 30 October||1.6 million|
RAC members can quickly report a breakdown using the new RAC app – and those with an iPhone can use their phone’s in-built GPS to easily help report their location to the RAC’s breakdown assistance team. For motorists who are yet to decide where to head this half- term, the Best Drives section of RAC Drive is a good place for inspiration.
Notes to Editors
* Data provided to the RAC by Ragdoll Research. Base: motorists. Data covers Friday 21 to Monday 24 October inclusive. Figures extrapolated to 31.4m licensed cars
** Data covers Friday 21 to Sunday 30 October inclusive
*** DfT ‘Contributory factors in reported accidents’
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