Figures provided by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reveal some interesting facts about car accidents. Of all collisions that occur in the United States, approximately 52% occur within a 5-mile radius of home while an astounding 69% occur within 10 miles.
Another survey by Progressive Insurance corroborates these numbers.
Although the vast majority of accidents occur close to home, most of them tend to be relatively minor. Perhaps you’re leaving your neighborhood and a neighbor pulls out of their driveway and hits your car in the side. Or maybe you’re at the neighborhood grocery store and someone hits you while crossing through the parking lot.
Data from the survey also shows that the farther from home the accident occurs, the more severe it tends to be. This is especially true for accidents that occur on busy highways and interstates where vehicles are traveling at much faster speeds over longer distances.
Why do so many accidents occur so close to home?
Progressive’s survey sheds some light on this important question. 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 the neighborhood Jiffy store.
Another big factor is distractions. Whether it’s talking on a cell phone, scanning the radio/Ipod or eating while driving, any little thing that diverts your attention from the road can open the door for a collision.
When on a busy highway, drivers are more likely to maintain their focus on the primary task at hand and save the cell phone call, texting or radio scanning for later.
Safety experts, as well as most car accident attorneys (…including us), are pretty vocal about distracted driving.
Just because you’re close to home doesn’t mean the danger of a car accident is lower. In fact, you should be twice as cautious when driving in your neighborhood or down to the corner mini-mart.
Simply being aware dramatically reduces the chance of you being in a car accident, regardless of whether you’re just cruising down the street or traveling in another state.