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Half of motorists planning an early half-term getaway this year

Press Release   •   Oct 21, 2016 11:00 BST

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 October3.8 million
Saturday 22 October4.4 million
Sunday 23 October3.5 million
Monday 24 October3.8 million
Tuesday 25 October2.5 million
Wednesday 26 October2.8 million
Thursday 27 October2.2 million
Friday 28 October3.1 million
Saturday 29 October2.8 million
Sunday 30 October1.6 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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About the RAC

With more than eight million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

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