Is it true that, statistically, more car accidents occur closer to home? Yes, actually. More than 50% of car accidents happen within five miles of our homes. And more than 70% of car accidents happen 15 miles from home.
Well, there is the obvious reason that the roads closer to home are where we drive most often. Similar to how most shark attacks happen closer to the beach: that’s just where we spend most of our time in the ocean.
But are there other reasons? And is there anything we can do to avoid getting in an accident?
Are the Roads Closer to Home More Dangerous?
The roads closer to home are not, typically, any more dangerous than those in the city. They can be more crowded, however, with more pedestrian activity, parked vehicles, and other obstacles to avoid.
The roads are also busier, even if not always fast-moving because we all have to leave and return to our homes. Rush hour traffic may be more congested on the highway, but those same tired drivers are heading to the neighborhood roads, sometimes arriving at the same time.
There is also a higher chance of underage or inexperienced drivers on neighborhood roads as they attempt to better learn how to drive before getting out onto busier, faster-moving streets.
Can Familiarity Lead to Carelessness?
Overconfidence can lead to crashes and collisions. As we navigate the roads we’ve been down a hundred times before, we may be more relaxed, allow ourselves to be more distracted, and take risks that we might not otherwise have taken when on less-traveled roads.
Sometimes that familiarity can also convince us that we are capable of driving while heavily fatigued late at night. The familiarity plays a part in convincing drunk drivers that they know the roads on the way home and can navigate them safely. But familiar or not, drunk, fatigued, and distracted drivers are unsafe drivers.
How Can You Better Avoid These Accidents?
Whether you’re one street down from your house or are embarking on a cross-country road trip, always obey the rules of the road and always fasten your seatbelt. Do not drive drunk. Do not drive while feeling sleepy. Do not go over the speed limit. Do not take any unnecessary risks.
It is important to keep in mind that, closer to home, there are more pedestrians, more tired drivers, more obstacles, more bicycles, and potentially more animals or children on or near the road. Be mindful at all times. Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings.