25 Sep Florida Car Crashes: Why Do So Many Happen Close to Home?
There’s no way to completely avoid car accidents. However, more accidents tend to happen in certain places and situations than in others. Because of this, being aware of these accident “hot spots” and staying alert can help reduce your risk of becoming involved in a car accident.
So, where do crashes tend to happen more often?
You might think that the unfamiliar locales and drowsiness of a long-distance road trip would make car accidents more likely when you’re far away from home… but you’d be wrong. Below we’re going to detail where car accidents happen most, and more importantly, what you can do to reduce your chance of getting into a crash.
Where Florida Auto Accidents Happen Most
In the US, there is a car crash about once every 5.2 seconds. Tens of thousands of people are killed annually in fatal collisions, and millions of Americans are involved in non-fatal accidents.
Where do all of these auto accidents occur? Statistically, there are certain places where auto accidents are more likely to happen:
- Close to home: Studies have shown that about one in three car accidents happen within a mile of the motorist’s home, and an even higher percentage more occur within 25 miles of home. This may be because motorists are in a comfort zone when close to home, and they are less likely to be alert on the road. One of the most common causes of collisions close to home is hitting parked cars.
- Intersections: Not surprisingly, collisions are more likely to occur in intersections, where two or more directions of traffic come together. Auto accidents are even more likely if the intersection is unregulated or only has stop or yield signs instead of a stoplight.
- Stoplights: Stoplights are a common place for car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions when drivers fail to stop in time for a car sitting in front of them at a red light.
- Busy two-lane roads: Two-lane roads in rural or non-residential areas with moderate speed limits are common locations for head-on collisions, which can be very dangerous. Auto accidents on two-lane roads commonly happen when motorists try to pass slower-moving vehicles by speeding into oncoming traffic.
- Rural highways: Although rural highways have less traffic, they are a common site of single-car accidents. Similar to driving close to home, driving in deserted areas can lead to motorist inattention. Roadway disrepair, wildlife and debris in the roads can increase the risk of this type of accident.
Avoiding Auto Accident Hotspots in Florida
Ever pulled into your driveway and realized that you can’t remember the last part of your drive home? This is because your brain tends to go on autopilot when you’re in an area you’re very familiar with, or making a drive you’re very familiar with, such as your commute to and from work. Your brain tends to rely more on muscle memory than on active driving skills on these familiar drives, making you less aware of the road.
Reminding yourself to stay alert during these “familiar” drives can significantly decrease your risk of car accidents. Try to avoid falling into a comfort zone when you’re close to home or on a drive that you make frequently. If you find your attention drifting, bring your focus back to the road. Sometimes rolling down a window can help increase your alertness.
Additionally, and this should go without saying, but you should always buckle your seatbelt – even for short trips. In fact, you should do this especially for short trips, given the statistics we’ve covered. Also, always be sure to avoid distracted driving practices such as texting while driving.
Although there’s no surefire way to avoid auto accidents completely, staying alert to road conditions and being aware of the places and situations that make collisions more likely can help you and your family stay safe on the road.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.