Walking Disasters : We all have someone in our lives who seems a little too clumsy to be true. That someone is more likely to spill their tea than finish making it; they may have even tripped down the stairs while you were reading this sentence. Some of us are simply unlucky enough to be accident-prone – but how can this be? Are there regional explanations, or is something else afoot?
Increased Accidents by Location
According to a recent survey by National Accident Helpline, the most accident-prone population in the UK can be found in Croydon – more specifically, the CR0 postcode. In fact, the top five most accident-prone places in the UK can all be found in the south of England, with Leicester, Coventry and London all making an appearance.
The Most Accident-Prone Day of the Year
The same survey also plotted accident data against the days on which said accidents happened, allowing National Accident Helpline to rank days of the year, and even average days of the week, in terms of their ‘accident-prone-ness’. According to this data, the most people suffer an accident on the 1st of August, with the 1st, 18th and 4th July taking spots 2 to 4 respectively and Halloween coming in at a close 5th.
In terms of days of the week, Friday is narrowly the most accident-prone with 17th of accidents each week taking place on that day. Sunday was the least accident-prone day, with 11% of the week’s accidents taking place then.
But does this mean anything? The difference in likelihoods can be explained by simple trends; Friday is the last day of the working week, and a day on which many let their hair down to celebrate their upcoming free time – increasing the likelihood of an accident. Meanwhile, Sundays are traditionally days of rest, on which less people will be active and exposing themselves to accident risk.
A Medical Question
This gives rise to a question that has been puzzling academics in healthcare for some time: is accident-prone-ness hereditary, or might there be another medical explanation for the increased clumsiness of some over others? The question has been posed in journals for decades, and to this day there is no concrete answer. Some have suggested genetic disposition, while others have found no evidence to suggest an inherent risk of accident-prone-ness.
However, more recent developments in the field of psychiatry and child psychology may have yielded some answers – in the form of autism. Autism rates are significantly higher than they once were, as stigma surrounding ASD continues to lessen and parents better understand the symptoms.
There has also been a recent awareness campaign for autism in women, who do not display the same symptoms as men – and have been misrepresented in the science, owing to a clinical bias towards treating men. Clumsiness is a symptom of autism in children; could this be, in part, a solution? Again, there are no concrete answers, but many possibilities remain.