Home is where people safe and protected. Unfortunately, this sense of comfort may make you too relaxed. If you have been in a car accident, there is a good chance it happened within 15 miles of your home. More than half of accidents occur within five miles of the driver’s residence. While there is nothing inherently dangerous about the area around your home versus other residential neighborhoods, there are a few factors that make you more likely to get in an accident on local streets.
Where Do Most Accidents Happen?
From 2005 to 2010, researchers tracked 3,280 patients who were injured in some way. In total, 88 percent of those patients were injured within 10 miles of their home. The median distance was just 0.2 miles away from the individual’s residence. When researchers looked at just injuries involving motor vehicles, they found that 77 percent of crashes that caused an injury happened within 10 miles of the patient’s home.
In 2001, Progressive surveyed 11,000 people to see accident causes and locations. The insurance company found that 77 percent of crashes happened within 15 miles of the driver’s home. A total of 52 percent of accidents occurred within five miles of the driver’s residence.
Over time, car crashes have gradually become less frequent. Unfortunately, accidents are still more likely to occur near your home when they do happen. Statistically, the most dangerous thing you can do each day is getting into a car. When compared to activities like flying on a plane, driving a car is significantly more dangerous.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen Near Your Home?
The main reason why accidents happen near the driver’s home is that the driver is more likely to be in that area. You are more likely to shop and work near your home. Even if you are driving across the state, you still have to traverse the miles near your home before you can get anywhere else. While there are a few other factors involved, the biggest reason why you get into crashes near your home is that your home is the location where you spend the majority of your time.
People also get into crashes because of how residential neighborhoods work. When you drive on the freeway, every vehicle is traveling in the same direction. Most freeway crashes occur because someone changes from one lane to another. Residential neighborhoods involve turning corners, driving opposite directions and sharing the road with pedestrians.
On residential streets, you can get in a crash for a variety of reasons. Two-lane roads mean you can get into a head-on collision. Unlike freeways, someone can turn too soon and hit the side of your car. Other drivers may run stop signs and cause a car crash.
Pedestrians can also cause residential crashes. While you will not see a biker or runner on a freeway, pedestrians often traverse residential streets. In addition, children may play in the street and cause accidents by darting into traffic.
Parked vehicles are also a risk. Many residential areas have parked cars along the sides of each street. This can be an issue if the car is not correctly parked. Even if the car is parked properly, an inattentive motorist can still hit it and lead to thousands of dollars in damage.
Accidents also occur near home because drivers are overconfident. After driving the same road each morning for months or years, the driver’s mind starts to drive on autopilot. They may be more likely to send a text, call someone or eat breakfast because they are in their comfort zone. Commuting during rush hour can also lead to more accidents because people are trying to beat traffic and get where they are going.
When people drive on local roads, they are more likely to be tired. After a long day at work, they want to head straight home as fast as possible. If you are physically and mentally exhausted, you are more likely to get into a car crash. You may fall asleep at the wheel, or your reaction time may be too slow to respond to a danger in time.
Even though there have been widespread campaigns against drinking and driving, many accident fatalities occur each year because of drunk drivers. Sometimes, people drink at a local bar or friend’s house. Because they live nearby, they feel more comfortable about driving home along local roads. Even though they are used to these roads, accidents can still happen. In just 2018, there were 10,511 deaths from drunk driving.
What Are the Behaviors That Lead to Car Accidents?
Whether you are close to home or on vacation, there are a number of behaviors that are likely to cause a car crash. While you can personally avoid doing these activities, you cannot stop other drivers from being careless. If you get into an accident because someone was doing one of the following things, an accident attorney can help you get compensated for your losses.
- An estimated 16.7 percent of accidents happened because someone was driving too fast.
- In 10.1 percent of accidents, someone was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other medications.
- Roughly 7.2 percent of accidents happened because someone did not stay in the correct lane.
- In 7 percent of accidents, one driver failed to yield when they were supposed to.
- A total of 5.2 percent of accidents occurred because the driver was distracted. They may have been eating, talking to a passenger or texting someone.
- Accident reports demonstrate that 5.4 percent of accidents involve someone acting in a careless or reckless way.
- In 3.9 percent of accidents, the driver did not listen to police officers, traffic signs or traffic lights.
Where Do Most Car Accidents Happen?
The majority of car accidents occur within 15 miles of home. Other than being close to home, there are specific areas where crashes are more likely to happen. While you should always exercise caution when you are driving somewhere, you should be especially cautious in the following locations.
When you consider how many cars are stationary in a parking lot, it seems odd that so many crashes would occur in these areas. While most crashes in parking lots are fairly minor, they can still lead to a substantial amount of vehicle damage. When these kinds of crashes occur, they typically involve behaviors like sideswiping other vehicles or speeding. Many crashes also occur when someone is backing up.
In one survey, researchers found that 40 percent of accidents occurred in intersections. Often, these crashes happen because of speeding and improper left turns. They may also occur because of distracted driving and speeding. When intersection crashes lead to injuries, the injuries are likely to be things like hearing damage, head trauma, whiplash and broken shoulders.
When people drive during rush hour, they are often stressed out and inattentive. In addition, rush hour involves significantly more vehicles and drivers than other time periods. Fender benders happen because drivers are tired and distracted. Because of this, commuters are more likely to get into accidents and become injured during rush hour.
Often, people think more accidents happen in urban areas because there are more cars on the road. Fatal accidents are actually more likely to happen on two-lane roads. More than half of all fatal accidents happen on rural roadways. In addition, rural accidents are more likely to happen at night on straightaways.
There are a number of reasons why two-lane roads are a common site of car accidents. Because both drivers are headed in opposite directions, head-on collisions can happen. Often, two-lane roads have limited shoulders. If there is an issue, there is not enough room for one vehicle to pull off the roadway. For example, someone may try passing a slow vehicle. If they do not complete this maneuver in time, they could end up hitting an oncoming car.
How to Avoid a Car Accident
Car crashes can be financially, physically and emotionally devastating. Ideally, drivers should try to avoid accidents whenever possible. Although you cannot prevent every crash, you can reduce the likelihood of an accident by becoming a defensive driver.
Watch the Road
One of the best things you can do as a driver is to be proactive. You should scan the road ahead of you instead of just watching the car in front of you. As you drive, you should watch the cars in front of your vehicle. By doing this, you can see a problem sooner and have more time to avoid it.
Skip the Fast Lane
Accidents are more likely to happen in the fast lane. During freeway driving, most accidents occur during lane changes. Plus, police officers devote more of their attention to the fast lane. By avoiding the fast lane, you can prevent an accident and avoid getting a speeding ticket.
Be a Racecar Driver
While you should not speed, you should have control of the wheel like a racecar driver. This means you should move your seat closer to the steering wheel so that you can rest your wrist on top of the steering wheel. By moving a little closer to the steering wheel, you are able to control your car better. Your hands should also be at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Preventative maintenance can do more than reduce your repair costs. It can also save your life. Your car will respond better to dangerous situations if it is in good shape.
Pay Attention to Your Blind Spots
Accidents are more likely to occur in your blind spots because you cannot see these areas. While your mirrors can help you see behind your car, they do not help you see everything. When you switch lanes, you should remember to look behind you. Otherwise, you could end up sideswiping a vehicle that is in your blind spot.
Avoid Nighttime Driving
Nighttime driving is dangerous for several reasons. Drunk drivers are more likely to be driving at night, which makes driving more dangerous for everyone else. In addition, it is harder to see at night.
What Should You Do If You Get Into an Accident?
Even if you are a safe, skilled driver, you can still get into an accident because of road conditions and other drivers. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence or reckless behavior, help is available. Filing a legal case can help you get compensation for your financial and physical injuries.
Filing a court case, compiling evidence and talking to witnesses requires legal experience. By working with a talented attorney, you can get expert help preparing your case. Your attorney can handle the legal legwork while you focus on recovering from the accident. Whether the at-fault party was a friend or complete stranger, you need the right legal help to get peace of mind and a good resolution.
At PM Law Firm, you can get the help you need following a car accident. Our experienced car accident lawyers can evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. To learn more about how we can help, schedule your initial consultation today.