If you had to guess, where do you think most car accidents occur? On vacation hundreds of miles away? Within 60 miles from home? 25 miles? 5? If you guessed within five miles from home, you are absolutely correct. Most car accidents happen on the roadways we are most familiar driving.
Home Sweet Home
A study from a popular insurance company found that 52% of all reported crashes occur within five miles from home, and 77% happen within just 15 miles from home. Only 1% of car accidents occur when drivers are more than 50 miles from where they live. And not only does proximity impact the likelihood of a crash, so does time of day. Most crashes take place in the late afternoon or evening between 3 and 6 pm, and 31% of fatal auto accidents occur between 6pm and midnight.
Theories Behind the Data
Have you ever arrived home after a long day of work and wondered how you got there? Your mind was on “autopilot,” and your body took over, knowing exactly when to stop, go, and turn without consciously thinking about it. It has happened to many of us. When we are so comfortable driving certain routes such as from home, work, or the local grocery store, it’s easy to fail to focus on the road ahead. On the other hand, when we’re unfamiliar with the roads we’re driving, we are more likely to have a heightened sense of awareness.
Fatality Rates on the Decline
More than 6 million auto vehicle accidents across the U.S. were reported in 2014, but which states reported the most fatalities? In 2014, Wyoming saw 25.7 fatalities per 100,000 people, followed by Mississippi at 20.3 and Montana not far behind at 18.8 deaths per 100,000. Nationally, the United States saw nearly 30,000 fatal crashes in 2014. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation also reports that while the U.S. population has steadily grown since 1975, the rate of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents actually has steadily declined by more than half as of 2014. Better vehicle designs and improvements in auto safety technology are likely contributing factors to this statistic.
We hope this information serves as a sobering reminder that we must always remain alert behind the wheel, regardless of where we are or how comfortable we are with the route. If you’ve found yourself injured an auto accident because of someone else’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Tampa Bay car accident lawyer, today.
Thanks to our friends and blog authors at The Ruth Law Team for their insight into car accident and personal injury practice.