Accidents involving motor vehicles are possible at any point along the roadway. There are a number of factors that could increase the likelihood of being involved in a hazardous car accident, such as the fact that drivers who are distracted run a much greater risk of causing serious injuries. However, the geographic location of the vehicle and its distance from the driver’s residence may not be considered by many drivers.
It should be done in many situations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than half of all auto accidents that result in serious injury or death take place within 25 miles of the driver’s residence. In addition, approximately 52 percent of all accidents take place within five miles of the home.
- 1 Why Do Car Accidents Occur Close to Home?
- 2 Avoiding Accidents Close to Home: What Drivers Can Do?
- 2.1 1. Complete any necessary tasks before starting your vehicle.
- 2.2 2. Take the same safety precautions for short trips you would take for longer ones.
- 2.3 3. Keep your attention on the road, even when close to home.
- 2.4 4. Share the road safely with cyclists, pedestrians, and service vehicles in your neighborhood.
Why Do Car Accidents Occur Close to Home?
Most drivers may spend more time on the roads closest to their homes, which leads to a higher risk of having an accident there. The average number of miles driven by Americans in a single day is approximately 29.2 miles.
It makes sense that the majority of their collisions would take place within that radius of 25 miles, given that they may not venture very far outside of it on an average day. If you don’t have a particularly long commute, you probably won’t need to spend a lot of time behind the wheel on a daily basis. This is because the majority of drivers prefer to take shorter trips rather than longer ones.
On the other hand, the first few minutes of a trip may have a higher accident rate overall. It’s estimated that 43 percent of accidents happen in the first 10 minutes that a driver is behind the wheel. In addition, the first three minutes of driving are the most dangerous for drivers, accounting for 25 percent of all accidents. A number of different factors could bring on this rise in the risk of accidents.
Overconfidence Regarding Road Familiarity
When traveling on roads that they are familiar with, drivers often develop a sense of arrogance. Because they may feel at ease while driving on the roads, they may have a higher overall likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors such as speeding or other dangerous activities. After all, motorists may have the impression that they travel along that road on a daily basis. They shouldn’t be too concerned about the possibility of an accident happening along that stretch, do they? The unfortunate reality is that engaging in such risky behaviors may significantly increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
When drivers first leave their homes, they are likely to be more distracted than later on in the trip. It is not uncommon for drivers to get into their vehicles while they are in the process of completing the last few tasks on the list relating to their prior responsibilities. While behind the wheel, some people may attempt to check their papers or finish applying makeup in a hurry.
In addition, a significant number of motorists do not perform the fundamental actions that are necessary to operate their vehicles before pulling out of the driveway. After they have started driving, they may need to change the temperature controls, adjust the music, or even move the seat in the vehicle. These behaviors that are distracting can increase the chances of having an accident.
Other distracting behaviors, such as using a cell phone, can be especially risky in this context. Some motorists may choose to finish up a phone conversation even after they get in the car, despite the fact that doing so poses a potential distraction. Alternatively, they might decide to finish up a text conversation before leaving the neighborhood, despite the fact that doing so also poses a potential distraction.
Neighborhoods present drivers with a number of potential hazards, all of which must be avoided. These dangers could be different on different days and at different times, which would make predicting them very challenging for some drivers.
For instance, some motorists may have trouble maneuvering their vehicles around delivery trucks or garbage trucks while driving in residential areas. Children and pedestrians also present a potentially significant risk because they are more difficult to spot and more challenging to avoid than other potential hazards. These heightened dangers have the potential to increase the likelihood of an accident occurring as well as the amount of damage that could result from one.
For instance, a driver might be more likely to jerk the wheel harder than the driver of another vehicle in order to avoid hitting a child or pedestrian. There is also a significant risk posed by pets that run out into traffic or chase after moving vehicles.
Fatigued drivers expose themselves to a number of potential dangers. Getting behind the wheel while fatigued can have just as disastrous of an effect as getting behind the wheel while impaired. Unfortunately, drivers may experience increased levels of fatigue both when leaving their homes for the first time, which may be the first thing they do in the morning, and when returning home at the end of the day after having spent a long day working or playing.
When a driver is extremely tired, they may experience tunnel vision or become hazy and forget to pay attention to the road. Both of these scenarios are extremely dangerous. Because they have such a short distance to travel, tired drivers are unfortunately more likely to try to push through their fatigue when they are getting closer to their homes.
Inadequate Safety Precautions
On shorter journeys, some drivers might take fewer precautions to ensure their safety in comparison to longer journeys. For instance, many motorists decide against fastening their seatbelts when they know they will only be on the road for a short period because they feel it is unnecessary. When other drivers realize that increasing their speed will cut down on the amount of time they have to spend traveling, they may be more tempted to drive more quickly. Drivers who choose not to wear seatbelts put themselves at a greater risk of suffering life-threatening injuries or even death in the event of a collision.
When going a short distance, drivers may be less likely to take essential safety precautions such as turning on all of the lights, ensuring that the windshield wipers work properly, or securing children or other passengers who may be distracting, such as pets. Because of the increased dangers, traveling that distance in complete safety may become much more difficult.
In spite of the fact that they are aware that their level of intoxication may prevent them from arriving home in a safe manner, drunk drivers frequently try to get away with driving only a short distance that is familiar to them. Even though they are aware that they have had too much to drink, they frequently have the impression that they are familiar with the area’s roads and that they can navigate through it without incident. On the other hand, an accident can take place in a matter of seconds, and intoxicated drivers may have a more difficult time avoiding the potential dangers that can appear on residential roads.
When a driver is close to their residence, it is possible that they will not become distracted while driving, but it is also possible that they will fail to pay attention to everything that is going on around them. When they are familiar with the roads and do not need to concentrate on their path, drivers frequently demonstrate a much-reduced likelihood of paying full attention while driving. When they are in autopilot mode, there is a greater chance that they will not notice the presence of large vehicles, pedestrians, or children who do not belong in the neighborhood. This significantly increases the likelihood that they will cause a severe accident.
Letting Their Guard Down
In general, as one gets closer to their home, people tend to relax their guard a little bit more. When driving on busy roads, whether they are in the middle of a city or on major highways, the majority of motorists are on heightened alert. They may not be at ease in their environment, and as a result, they may proceed with extreme caution in an effort to cut down on the possibility of being involved in an accident.
However, many drivers’ attention wanes as they draw nearer to their destinations, particularly their homes. They might become less tense and experience an increase in ease. Not only does this have the potential to convince many drivers to engage in risky behaviors, but it also has the potential to mean that these drivers have not remained in the state of heightened alertness that is required to avoid an accident as they get closer to their homes.
Read More: Where do most car accidents happen?
Avoiding Accidents Close to Home: What Drivers Can Do?
Dealing with an accident close to home can prove particularly frustrating and demoralizing. You want to feel your neighborhood offers respite and safety, not danger. Unfortunately, accidents can occur close to home all too easily. What must drivers do to reduce those risks?
1. Complete any necessary tasks before starting your vehicle.
Especially if you find that you are running short on time, it is easy to fall prey to the temptation of finishing up a variety of tasks at the same time that you start driving.
But before you pull out of your driveway, make sure you’ve taken care of any necessary tasks, such as the following:
- Completing one’s makeup or grooming routines
- Adjusting the GPS settings
- Begin playing your tunes or adjust the settings on your radio.
- Controlling the settings for the temperature
- puts an end to any ongoing phone conversations or other forms of communication
If you want to reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident while driving, you need to keep your attention on the road. If you take care of the necessary tasks before getting in the car, it will be easier for you to keep your attention on the road.
2. Take the same safety precautions for short trips you would take for longer ones.
You wouldn’t drive for a long distance on a busy road without first fastening your seatbelt, properly securing your children, and then securing all of the cargo and items that are in your vehicle. Be sure to take those same precautions before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle for even shorter trips that will keep you in the neighborhood of your home. Hold on tight.
You should perform a thorough inspection of your vehicle to ensure that it does not have any mechanical issues that could become a distraction or cause an unsafe situation while you are driving. Any preventative measures you can take before pulling out of your driveway can assist in lowering the probability of being involved in a collision that could result in serious injury.
In addition, you should never travel even a short distance in a vehicle that is damaged. When they know they can get around within a residential area without having to go outside, some people are willing to take more risks. For instance, you could rationalize driving a vehicle with faulty brakes by saying that you only need to go “down the street.” Sadly, an accident can happen even within those few minutes on the road, and you may end up being liable for any damages that occur as a result of it.
3. Keep your attention on the road, even when close to home.
Get into the habit of looking around your neighborhood for particular landmarks or anything else that stands out as being particularly interesting. Pay extra attention during the times of the day when you are aware that there is a greater possibility that the road will be filled with children and pedestrians. Keeping your focus on the most important aspects of the situation can help reduce the likelihood that you will accidentally cause an accident when you are in close proximity to your home.
Residential neighborhoods may experience significantly more traffic than was anticipated, including garbage trucks and delivery vehicles. If the mail truck has to stop for each mailbox, or if a pedestrian takes up more space in the road than you can reasonably get around, you may find that you get frustrated quite frequently.
However, in order to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision, you should always make sure to safely share the road in your neighborhood. Do not make any attempt to get through illegally. In the event that you are required to pass, you must ensure that the driver or pedestrian you are passing is aware that you intend to go around them. Take extra precautions around young children and animals, as they may not understand what you mean.