Why Your Commute Could Be a Bigger Accident Risk than a Big Road Trip
Accidents can happen anywhere. However, most motor vehicle collisions take place on familiar roads—in fact, research suggests half of all car crashes are close to home.
Car Accident Statistics
In 2021, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), released study findings that indicated:
- An estimated 52 percent of all car accidents take place within a five-mile radius of the victim’s residence.
- About 69 percent of all collisions—including pedestrian crashes and bicycle accidents —occur within a 10-mile radius of the victim’s home.
While many drivers’ education courses use these statistics to reinforce the principle that motorists should always remain alert, the NHTSA’s findings are troubling. Contrary to most Americans’ worries, a short trip to the grocery store—or the regular commute to work—is almost certainly more dangerous than the occasional road trip. However, risk is always relative.
How Familiarity Creates Risk
Most Americans live, work, and socialize close to home. Since many people only travel longer distances for pleasure or specific business purposes, it makes sense that a majority of collisions occur in the same area where most people spend most of their time. Nevertheless, residential roads present unique risks.
It Breeds Overconfidence
People don’t always devote their undivided attention to driving while on familiar streets. Motorists who are otherwise cautious, reasonable drivers may feel more comfortable taking phone calls, sending text messages, or even eating while navigating routes they’ve traveled thousands of times.
Parked Cars are Underrated Obstacles
Curbside parking is common in many residential areas. However, parked cars pose significant obstacles to everyday safety. For instance, inattentive motorists might try to leave their parking spot without checking for oncoming traffic—especially if they’re on a relatively quiet suburban road.
Unexpected Danger From Intoxicated Drivers
Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are responsible for a disproportionate share of motor vehicle-related accidents, injuries, and deaths. When people make the irresponsible decision to drive while intoxicated, the combination of overconfidence, distraction, and delayed reaction time can endanger everyone on the road.
What to Do After a Tennessee Car Crash
The aftermath of any car crash can be chaotic. If you or a loved one was injured in a Tennessee motor vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault, protect your right to a legal recovery by taking the following steps:
- Call 911. Even if you don’t believe the accident needs to be reported to law enforcement.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Although at first it might seem that you haven’t sustained any visible injuries, some car crash-related conditions take time to cause complications.
- Collect evidence. This includes photographs of the crash site, your vehicle, and your injuries if possible.
- Speak to bystanders. Those who witnessed your accident could provide critical court testimony. Ask for their full names, phone numbers, and other contact information.
Additionally, consult an experienced Tennessee car crash attorney. While you don’t need a lawyer to negotiate an insurance settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit, studies show that plaintiffs who retain competent legal counsel are more likely to win their cases and have a greater chance to secure larger settlements than accident victims who try to represent themselves.
Contact a Tennessee Car Accident Attorney Today
The firm of Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers was founded by attorneys who spent years working with large insurance agencies. Before we founded our own practice, we learned the strategies they use to negotiate car crash claims. While we understand that initiating a personal injury lawsuit could seem an intimidating prospect, we have the practical insight necessary to overcome even the most vigorous defense. Please send us a message online or call us at 615-220-4180 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.