Everything from your health and behavior to the weather influences your likelihood of getting into a crash. You probably already take steps to keep yourself safe by minimizing your driving risks.
You know that texting at the wheel leads to crashes, so you turn off your ringer when you get in the car. You know that you can’t safely drive after consuming alcohol, so you limit what you ingest or have someone else drive you home. Unfortunately, some of the risks on the road are issues that you simply cannot avoid by changing your driving habits.
For example, no matter how much you may want to stay safe, you likely can’t avoid driving on the streets that are closest to your home. Is it really true that most crashes occur within two miles of someone’s home?
Being close to home really is a known risk factor for major crashes
Location plays a big role in crash risk. The data that researchers have found is hard to ignore. Almost a quarter of all crashes, 23%, occur within just a single mile of someone’s residence. Crashes that happen 50 miles from home or more represent just 1% of the collisions reviewed. More than half of all crashes happen somewhere less than five miles from your home, with another 29% happening somewhere between two and five miles from a person’s residence.
In other words, you are more than twice as likely to get into a crash when you’re a mile or less from your own home than you are to get in a crash when 20 miles away or more. Although the initial study establishing this fact is now about 20 years old, researchers all over the world, from Canada to New Zealand, have found similar trends when analyzing the location of crashes.
While most crashes don’t necessarily occur within two miles of your home, they do occur within five miles of your home. That means that the roads that you are the most familiar with are the ones that demand the most cautious driving.
Why is being near home so dangerous?
There are a number of reasons why crashes occur close to where you live. Obviously, you will frequently need to drive from home to go to work, take the kids to school or handle errands for your family.
Additionally, because you drive those roads so often, you may be too comfortable on them, leading you to fail to pay attention the way that you should. Finally, many people who engage in dangerous behaviors, like drinking and driving, might visit a bar close to their home in the hope that they will not get into a crash.
Regardless of where it takes place, you will likely have a right to file an insurance claim after a crash, especially if another driver caused it.