You already know it’s important to drive carefully. Although you can’t control other drivers’ behavior, you can take steps to boost your own safety. Doing so is key to avoiding accidents.
That said, there are many car accident facts that you may not be familiar with. Some may be particularly surprising – especially for those who assume that men are better drivers than women. They may even help you stay safer when out on the road.
However, if you ever find yourself in an accident, be sure to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer for legal guidance.
1. Most Accidents Occur Close to Home
You might assume that the majority of car accidents occur relatively far from a driver’s home. This would seem to make sense. If they’re in an unfamiliar area, a driver might get into an accident due to not anticipating certain road conditions, upcoming turns, etc.
Additionally, if you were to assume that being tired behind the wheel is a major contributor to auto collisions, you would think drivers are more likely to get into collisions when they are on long road trips that take them far away from home.
These are understandable assumptions to make. However, they don’t actually reflect the true reality of car accidents. Statistics indicate the majority of accidents occur within 25 miles of a driver’s home.
This may be due to the fact that drivers often become more relaxed and less vigilant when they get closer to familiar areas. They’re more willing to let their guard down, which can put them at greater risk of getting into an accident. That’s why it’s important to stay alert behind the wheel no matter where you’re driving.
2. Alcohol is Involved in Nearly One-Third of Traffic Fatalities
Approximately 29% of fatal traffic accidents in 2017 involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. This reaffirms the importance of staying sober whenever you drive.
Luckily, there is also reason to be optimistic. Fatalities associated with drunk driving have dropped by nearly half since 1982. This indicates steps which have been taken to reduce the danger posed by drunk drivers are effective. We must continue to take steps in this direction to ensure alcohol accounts for even fewer traffic accidents and fatalities in the future.
3. Distracted Driving is on the Rise
It’s encouraging to learn the rate of traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers is on the decline. That said, new dangers are increasingly putting drivers at risk.
One recent study indicates distracted driving is on the rise in every state except Vermont. This trend has correlated with a larger-than-normal increase in the rate of auto accident deaths.
This suggests additional steps need to be taken to ensure drivers remain focused and undistracted on the road. While we may have made progress when it comes to limiting the number of fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired drivers, we can’t forget the ubiquity of mobile devices is also a major factor that needs to be addressed.
4. Accidents Occur at Different Times in Different Places
It’s logical to assume that most auto accidents occur at night. In dark conditions, during the hours when people are more likely to be drunk behind the wheel, it makes sense that accidents would be more common.
They are. However, only in some places. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates the majority of car accidents occur at night in urban areas. In rural areas, on the other hand, the trend is reversed, with most accidents occurring during daytime hours.
It sounds counterintuitive. That said, it makes more sense when you consider how people drive.
Statistically, rural roads are actually more dangerous than urban roads. This is because they may feel safer to drivers. When you’re surrounded by traffic, you exercise caution. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, with very few other vehicles sharing the road, you feel more comfortable driving recklessly.
This only changes at night. In rural areas, where roads can get very dark at night, drivers may exercise greater caution than they would when the road is easier to see.
5. Men Are More Likely Than Women to be Killed in Traffic Accidents
Year after year, men are more than twice as likely as women to die in traffic accidents. There are a few reasons this is the case. Primarily, it simply has to do with the fact that men drive more often than women. They’re also more likely to engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel.
Remember these points when you’re driving. Anyone can get in a traffic accident, but certain conditions boost the odds of this occurring. Knowing what those conditions are is key to staying safe.
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