Walking disasters – why some people are more accident-prone than others

We all know someone who’s prone to mishaps. Perhaps you are that person. And often it’s entertaining meeting up with them as they regale their tales of woe. But is there more to it than simply being a bit clumsy? And when are you most likely to have an accident? Luckily, there are researchers out there who have tried to answer those very questions.

The most likely times to have an accident

The National Accident Helpline (NAHL) have scrawled through seven years’ worth of claims enquiries to determine the most likely time of year to have an accident. It turns out summer’s our most dangerous season, with four of the top five accident-prone days landing between 1st July and 1st August. The only other day to reach the top five was 31st October, suggesting trick or treating could be a more hazardous exercise than we might have suspected.

For lovers of all things festive, the good news is that Christmas Day is when NAHL received the least claims, which should make those mince pies taste all the sweeter this year.

And as for the most dangerous day of the week – apparently it’s Friday, when 17 percent of all claims were made, compared to just 11 percent on Sundays.

Are certain people more prone to having accidents?

According to researchers from the Manchester University Institute of Science and Technology, there are three character traits associated with people who are not accident prone. They are openness (they learn from others and are open to suggestions), dependability (they’re socially responsible), and agreeableness (not aggressive or competitive).

Though others, such as John Carr from the University of Washington, argue that environmental factors play a greater role in determining when someone is most likely to have an accident. He believes the likes of stress, depression and anxiety can lead to distraction, slow reaction times and a clouded judgement. Therefore, if you or your accident-prone friend have had another mishap, it might be worth looking into why it happened and asking yourselves whether it really was just random clumsiness, or whether you were trying to juggle several things at once at the time. Were you under stress? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you feeling low?

Many accidents are of our own making. But some are not through any fault of our own, and it’s worth remembering that if you’ve suffered an injury and it wasn’t you who caused it, you should seek legal help to determine whether you can make a claim.

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