Most Car Accidents Happen Close to Home
When it comes to car accidents, people generally think driving longer distances is riskier than driving in your own hometown. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reveal some interesting facts about car accidents, proving otherwise. Of all crashes that occur in the United States, approximately 52% occur within a five-mile radius from home. 69% of accidents occur within 10 miles of one’s home.
Although the vast majority of car accidents occur close to home, most of them tend to be relatively minor. Examples of these accidents could be when you’re leaving your neighborhood and a neighbor pulls out of their driveway and hits your car on the side or you could be at the local grocery store and someone hits your car while crossing through the parking lot.
On the contrary, while accidents that occur farther from home are less common, they tend to be more severe. This is especially true for accidents that occur on busy highways and interstates, where vehicles are traveling at much faster speeds over longer distances.
A False Sense of Security
Research conducted by Progressive Insurance says that broadly speaking, drivers tend to have a false sense of security when driving close to home. For example, drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelts when driving to a local store in the neighborhood.
Another big factor is distractions. People are more likely to let themselves be distracted when driving around a familiar place where they feel low at risk. Whether it’s talking on their cellphone, scanning the radio/iPod or eating while driving, these little things that seem harmless still divert your attention from the road, which can increase the chances of a collision. While when driving on a busy highway, for example, people are more likely to keep their focus on the road and leave the distractions alone.