Most Common Places for Accidents

Sep 20, 2017

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 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. Other common areas for accidents include:

  • Rural areas
  • Stoplights
  • Intersections
  • Parking lots
  • Parking garages

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, including:

Drivers Let Their Guard Down

Because neighborhoods seem like the safest driving areas, drivers often let their guard down. Drivers may feel like they can finally breathe 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 accompanies distracted driving in residential areas because drivers feel relaxed in familiar territory. The mental exhaustion from working long hours and a brutal commute can be especially dangerous when combined with the promise of relief someone’s home provides.

Intoxicated Driving

When people drink and drive, they try to avoid freeways to evade legal ramifications. Avoiding freeways diminishes the probability of high-speed crashes but doesn’t make drinking and driving safe. Driving under the influence leads to an estimated 16,000 fatal accidents yearly, about 40% of the United States’ total fatality rate.

Rush Hour

Rush-hour traffic can increase your odds of being in an accident by 20%. Similarly, 20% of all truck accidents also occur during this timeframe.

Inexperienced Drivers

Parents often use their neighborhood as the driving safe haven for their teenage drivers. However, inexperienced drivers often cause accidents in neighborhoods as well.

Other Common Areas for Auto Accidents

Rural Areas

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 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 in urban areas.

Rural areas have less lighting and decreased speed limit regulations. People might also be less cautious since fewer drivers are on the road.


One of the most common areas for rear-end collisions is 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. This 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.

Drivers may also race to beat stoplights or misjudge the time they have to get through an intersection, leading to accidents.

Parking Lots and Garages

Because of their cramped space, accidents in parking lots represent a significant portion of all car accidents. Drivers also make 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 backing out of their spaces.

When Do Most Accidents Happen?


It makes sense why more accidents would occur in the afternoon; more drivers are on the road. Fridays between 3:00 pm and 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 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 travel 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 after your accident. Don’t go into the process alone; trust a legal expert to navigate you through your accident and help you prevent accidents in the future.

Contact us today for a free consultation to determine how best to approach your case. Simply give us a call at (303) 333-7285 or visit our website to learn more information about our legal services.

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm | Website | + posts

The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm is a team of personal injury attorneys in Denver, CO serving victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Each of our lawyers is licensed with the Colorado State Bar (CBA) and specialize in injury law.

We've recovered tens of millions of dollars in personal injury settlements and verdicts for our clients. For 13+ years we've helped thousands of people get back on their feet after experiencing serious injuries. We will take your case to trial and get the maximum settlement possible.

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