This blog discusses the most common areas for car accidents to occur. It also reveals how motorists can avoid these dangers and stay safe on the road. However, no matter the level of preventative measures motorists take, accidents can happen to the most cautious and prepared, so it’s crucial to have a contingency plan.
Motorists in Colorado and throughout the country tend to do most of their driving within 25 miles of home. Therefore, it may not be surprising to hear that this is where most accidents occur. Drivers might mistakenly believe they can rely on muscle memory when driving, but it is still one of the most dangerous activities a person can do. It is the leading cause of death for males from ages 5-23 and females aged 3-23.
Despite the inherent danger involved in driving an automobile, there are ways to mitigate risk. For example, wearing a seatbelt may be an effective way to stay safe while operating a motor vehicle. In front seat passengers alone, seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45%.
The vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are attributable to human error. Because human negligence causes most accidents, courts need to hold the correct parties responsible. If you’re involved in a car accident, consulting with a car accident law firm can ensure you receive the correct compensation for any losses you may incur.
Why Do Most Accidents Happen Within 5 Minutes of Home?
You may think neighborhoods are some of the most unnatural areas for auto accidents. With their low-speed limits and lack of traffic, how could they be dangerous?
Despite their idyllic appearance, neighborhoods are among the most common areas for car accidents for many reasons.
Drivers Let Their Guard Down
Because neighborhoods seem like the safest area to drive, drivers often let their guard down. Drivers may feel like they can finally take a breath after a long day’s work, or they might be fatigued after a long commute. Whatever the reason, drivers are more likely to take their eyes off the road and direct their attention to their phones or other distractions.
Collisions with Parked Vehicles
Another, often overlooked, reason for residential accidents is the parked vehicles on the side of the road. Drivers on the road might not be on the lookout for pedestrians entering their cars or a poorly parked vehicle whose rear-end is sticking out into the street. Drivers are especially likely to miss these obstacles if they are in an area where they feel comfortable driving.
Fatigue often couples with distracted driving in residential areas because drivers feel like they can relax when they’re in familiar territory. The mental exhaustion that comes from working long hours and a brutal commute can be especially dangerous when combined with the promise of relief someone’s home provides.
When people drink and drive, they tend to try and avoid freeways to evade legal ramifications. Avoiding freeways diminishes the probability of high-speed crashes, but it doesn’t make drinking and driving safe. Driving under the influence leads to an estimated 16,000 fatal accidents every year, about 40% of the United States’ total fatality rate.
People with long commutes may misjudge the amount of time they have to get ready in the morning. Their misallocated time can have damaging effects on their day, as they might rush to get to work and cause an accident.
Parents often use their neighborhood as the driving safe-haven for their up-and-coming teenage drivers. But their neighborhood safety can quickly turn south when they learn their teenager has no idea what they’re doing. Inexperienced drivers who aren’t familiar with how to operate a motor vehicle often cause accidents in neighborhoods.
Other Common Areas for Auto Accidents
It’s understandable why people might think urban areas are more dangerous for car accident fatalities. After all, with all the stopping and going and increased traffic, how could they possibly be safer than rural areas?
Though these are logical reasons why driving in urban areas might be more dangerous, in 2017, 46% of fatal car crashes occurred in rural areas. Given the population disparity between urban and rural areas, driving in a rural area is just as risky, if not riskier than urban areas.
Rural areas have less lighting and decreased speed limit regulations. People might also be less cautious since there are fewer drivers on the road.
One of the most common areas for rear-end collisions is at stoplights. Rear-end collisions at stoplights are understandable because all it takes to cause an accident is a split second of taking your eyes off the road. You may think, “the light is green, and I can go ahead and pick up that thing I dropped.” But when you look up, the light is red, and you have no time to stop. Cars may also have faulty brakes that fail at stoplights.
Because of the decreased speeds, rear-end collisions are rarely fatal. But even though rarely fatal, rear-end collisions can still cause severe damage and lead to injury.
Intersections often confuse drivers because they don’t understand who has the right of way. Failure to understand who has the right-of-way causes people to pull out in front of other vehicles when they should remain stopped. These types of accidents can sometimes be fatal due to the nature of a t-bone accident.
For example, someone might mistakenly believe they are at a four-way stop, fail to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming vehicle and pull out in front of them. Because the oncoming car wasn’t expecting to stop, they might be traveling at high-speeds and smash directly into the side of the vehicle that failed to yield.
Parking Lots and Garages
Because of their cramped space, accidents in parking lots represent a significant portion of all car accidents. Drivers are also making maneuvers they don’t often make, like backing out of a parking space. Backing out of a parking space creates blind spots for drivers, and other drivers tend to drive carelessly through parking lots without looking for cars that are backing out of their spaces.
When Do Most Accidents Happen?
It makes sense why more accidents would occur in the afternoon; there are more drivers on the road. Fridays between 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm are especially dangerous because people are getting out of work for the weekend. They might be excited about their upcoming activities, which can lead to decreased attention.
There are several reasons accidents increase during the summer months. Perhaps most importantly, drivers log the most miles during the summer months because they take trips and are less afraid to travel on the road in warm weather. Students are also on their break, which means they have more free time and are on the road more often. Increased construction can catch drivers off-guard as well.
The two primary reasons accidents increase over the holidays are because more people are traveling and alcohol consumption increases. Negligent vehicle maintenance is another contributing factor to holiday accidents.
How To Avoid Auto Accidents
There’s no concrete way to avoid auto accidents, but you can take measures to reduce the risk. If you care about your safety and the safety of your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians, consider the following suggestions.
Examine Your Driving Habits
When you get into the driver’s seat, note whether you’re alert or mindlessly performing the actions necessary to turn the car on and begin your journey. Committing to this practice can reduce your tendency to drive recklessly.
While driving, consciously avoid checking your phone even if it buzzes or rings, and put the GPS on voice direction rather than looking at it. Performing these tasks reduces the chance that you cause an accident, and while you can’t control what other drivers do, you can take comfort in not causing others harm due to your negligence.
Take a Defensive Driving Class
If you want to feel especially safe on the road, you can take a defensive driving class to protect yourself from other drivers. Some insurance companies even offer discounts on the course, while others offer a discount on your premium after completing the class.
Denver Car Accident Attorneys Help No Matter Where Your Accident Happens
No matter where your car accident occurs, our car accident injury lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process that happens after your accident. Our caring, knowledgeable attorneys instruct you on how to respond to insurance companies appropriately. We also conduct thorough investigations of your case to determine your entitled compensation.
Contact us today for a free consultation to determine how best to approach your case.