You may worry more about your kids or spouse being in a car wreck when they’re traveling someplace, but the reality is that your loved ones (and you) are more likely to be in a wreck close to home.
For decades, studies by everything from insurance companies to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown similar findings. A fairly recent study by Dolphin Technologies provides some enlightening information that may help drivers better understand why this happens and what they can do to avoid a wreck.
39% of car wrecks happen within the first six minutes of driving
The most astounding part of the study indicates that 39% of all car wrecks happen within the first six minutes someone is behind the wheel – and 25% of those happen within the first three minutes. In other words, you may barely be out of your driveway when you end up in a crash.
What gives? Well, there are numerous possible reasons behind these statistics, and it’s probably a combination of factors. These include:
- Drivers may not be entirely focused on driving. Distractions are inevitable in life, and someone who is hurrying out the door to make it to work on time or pick up their child may have 10 things on their mind at once until they get further down the road and can refocus. Even running a grocery list through your mind or that last conversation with your spouse can be distracting.
- Drivers may be a little bit too comfortable with the area. Face it: Most drivers are more cautious and alert when they’re in unfamiliar areas or on busy roads. If you’re still basically in your own residential area, you may be less anxious about traffic and more relaxed about their own driving.
- Drivers may not be totally prepared to drive. Have you ever pulled out of your driveway while still putting on your seatbelt or while still tucking your bag behind your seat and your coffee cup in it’s holder? It’s common, but that’s another type of distracted driving.
What can you do to reduce the risk of a wreck near your own home? Partially, you can exercise tighter control over your own behavior by making sure you’re really alert and oriented to your task before you start the car. Beyond that, you simply have to be on the defensive.
If you are in a wreck, it’s wise to find out more about your right to compensation for your injuries and other losses.