Cars stuck in traffic

45% of London drivers braving Christmas perils as urgent safety reminders echo

45% of London drivers are set to navigate potential Christmas chaos, defying the dark, breakdown risks, and extreme weather warnings, according to a new study from what3words.

Despite 32% of respondents expressing discomfort with night-time driving, a significant portion of Londoners will hit the road to reunite with family and friends this festive season.

As the winter solstice approaches, casting long shadows over the city, and the Met Office issues stern warnings of potential flooding, heavy rain, and icy conditions, emergency services and the Automobile Association (AA) are urging the public to prepare for extended journeys by downloading the free what3words app.

The AA’s forecast designates Monday, December 18th, as the worst day for breakdowns this winter, with December 23rd expected to be the busiest on the roads.

Increased traffic brings a higher risk of accidents and breakdowns, with 40% of Londoners admitting they would struggle to describe their location to roadside assistance or emergency services during a breakdown, according to what3words research. 

Data from the AA confirms this, revealing that 40% of individuals find it challenging to describe their surroundings when seeking help.

To address this issue, what3words enables drivers to precisely communicate their location, leading to a 168% increase in AA members using the app to report breakdown locations since last year.

Edmund King, President of the AA said: “Breaking down in an unfamiliar location can be a daunting experience at any time, even more so if travelling to visit family and friends at Christmas.”

Nick Powell, AA Patrol of the Year, highlighted how what3words aids their patrols in reaching members swiftly, even in unconventional locations.

The app accepts what3words addresses, allowing members to easily share their precise breakdown location with service providers over the phone.

This innovative technology is not exclusive to the AA; 85% of the UK’s emergency services, including police, fire, and ambulance, utilise what3words, streamlining their response in critical situations.

The what3words app, available for free on iOS and Android, even works offline, ensuring accessibility for drivers in areas with limited phone signal or poor connectivity.

Despite the potential hazards and concerns cited by London drivers, the research uncovered that half of them do not check the weather before embarking on long drives, with 15% disregarding weather warnings entirely.

As the festive season approaches, what3words and the AA strive to equip drivers with the tools and confidence to navigate the Yuletide chaos safely.

Infographic of a study done by what3words

Featured image credit: Pexels

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