CHRISTMAS is a joyous time for most but for anyone involved in a traffic accident, there is worry and sometimes tragedy.
We should all take a moment to consider the importance of not drinking and driving, of having a designated alcohol-free driver and of taking note of road conditions, especially on icy nights.
Organisations like the AA and RAC regularly update their websites with severe weather warnings and Solihull Council keeps people informed of road conditions on its gritting page: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/gritting/default.htm.
Everyone needs to take extra care in winter and keep speed down. This is a particular issue for young people.
Statistics from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are shocking:
l The single biggest cause of accidental death in people aged 15-24 is getting in a car and dying in a crash.
l In 2011, 5,419 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of accidents involving at least one young car driver (aged 16-25).
l 40 per cent of 17-year-old males have an accident in their first six months of driving.
ABI is trying to change the law to introduce a one-year minimum learning period; limiting the number of passengers allowed in a car with a new young driver; a curfew on night time driving; and zero tolerance on alcohol.
People may agree with some or all of these. You can study the campaign in full on http://www.abi.org.uk/.