Common sense is a good guide for many things including driving. For example, it dictates that distracted driving and aggressive driving are dangerous, and that driving too fast on a slippery road invites an accident. However, sometimes car accident statistics about some situations disagree with common sense notions. When this is the case, your common sense increases your car accident risk. Here are three examples of counter intuitive car accident facts:
Most Accidents Happen near Home
Approximately 75 percent of all accidents happen within fifteen miles of home. Many people regard their local neighborhoods as safe havens. They pretty much know where things are and what to expect because they’ve driven in their localities countless times. Common sense dictates that bad things like car accidents don’t happen in safe places.
However, accidents are most likely where people do most of their driving, which is usually within fifteen miles of home. In addition, feeling comfortable and safe in one’s neighborhood makes people complacent and leads to distracted driving as well as driving on autopilot. Autopilot driving occurs when reflexes do the driving while the mind takes a vacation.
Rural Roads Are Deadlier Than Urban Streets
Large cities are often characterized as chaotic and frenetic places. They’re noisy, aggressive drivers are everywhere, motorists barely obey the rules of the road, and it’s easy to take a wrong turn and get lost. However, because of the traffic density and the many controlled intersections, the speed of the average motor vehicle isn’t very high. This means that while accidents can happen frequently, they aren’t as deadly as the high-speed accidents that occur on highways.
Rural roads, for all their charm and natural beauty, have more fatal accidents per mile driven than urban areas. The main reason is that many of the roads are highways with high-speed limits. Unlike interstates, they have no barrier separating opposing traffic and they lack controlled access.
Going off the road often means slamming into trees or rolling down an embankment. Many rural highways are poorly designed and maintained. Therefore, higher speeds increase the fatality risk of accidents, and poor road design and maintenance increase the likelihood of car accidents.
Driving in the Spring, Summer, and Fall Is Deadlier Than Winter Driving
This is true if you do your winter driving in a snowy area. The reason for this is that people drive faster on dry and even wet pavement than they do on snow-covered roads. You simply can’t drive as fast on slippery snow-covered roads without losing control of your vehicle. Therefore, when accidents occur in these slippery conditions, they happen at slower speeds. Slower speeds reduce the fatality rate.
Contact us at Hogan Injury for legal advice if another’s bad driving injured you in a car accident.