Despite your best efforts to drive safely, car accidents happen. And, depending on the extent of damages or injuries, your insurance rates can increase significantly. If you know when and where accidents are most likely to happen, these problems may be avoided.
You might be surprised to know that about 6 million car accidents happen in the U.S. every year. Of those, approximately 42,900 are fatal accidents. Anytime you get into a car, you are at risk of being involved in an accident.
Knowing the most likely places and times for car accidents is the first step in preventing them.
Below are some of the most common places, times, and reasons why car accidents happen.
Where: Car Accident Hot Spots
Some places on the highway are more dangerous than others. Here are a few of the spots where accidents occur most often:
- Close to home. Many fatal vehicle accidents occur within 25 miles of home. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 52% of accidents happen within five miles of the driver’s home and 69% occur within ten miles of the driver’s home.
- Stop lights or intersections. Rear-end collisions are more likely to happen at these spots. Accidents such as these often result in fatalities that could have been prevented.
- Parking lots and garages. Backing into a parked car is easy to do in a crowded parking lot or garage. Also, a high number of accidents involving pedestrians occur in these locations. Backup cameras are now required on new cars and hopefully, this will help reduce these types of accidents.
In addition to the most likely places for accidents to happen, you should also be aware that time of day is a major factor in when accidents occur.
When: Most Common Time of Day for Vehicle Accidents
On average, the most common time of day for fatal or non-fatal car accidents is between 6:00 to 8:00 am and between 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). They analyze data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the Crash Report Sampling System to reach this conclusion.
Most accidents occur during these early evening hours because drivers are in a rush to get home from work. The increased risk of accidents is directly related to the increased number of drivers on the road at this time of day. The causes of car accidents during rush hour are often due to failure to stop at stop signs, unsafe lane changes, and exceeding speed limits.
Why: Distracted Driving
Distracted driving causes more than 3,100 fatal accidents per year. While texting is the number one cause of distracted driving, other things can interfere with a driver paying attention to the road ahead.
These tips will help you remain focused while behind the wheel:
- Silence your cell phone. The NSC reports that cell phone use while driving causes about 1.6 million accidents each year. Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving and drinking.
- Don’t eat while driving. If you’re focused on trying to eat a nice slice of pizza or a huge burger while driving, you put yourself and your passengers at risk. Rather than take the chance of causing an accident, pull over someplace safe while you eat. Better, yet, eat before you get in the car.
- Limit the number of passengers. Conversations and music can distract you enough to cause an accident if you have several people in your car at once.
- Don’t drive while tired. Fatigue can interfere with your ability to operate your vehicle safely. Of course, if you’ve had a long day at work and want to get home as soon as you can, it’s easy to take the risk of driving while tired. Drowsy driving accidents are more likely to occur between midnight and six in the morning, according to NHTSA.
Americans are accustomed to driving while distracted and believe they have control of their vehicle. Unfortunately, many of them discover the hard way that an accident can happen at any time or any place to any driver.
Being a safe driver involves taking responsibility for what goes on in the vehicle while you are the one behind the wheel. If you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle, try to limit the things you do that might be distracting to the driver.
Make Sure You Have the Right Auto Insurance for Your Needs
Having the right auto insurance is also part of being a safe, responsible driver. You want to be sure you and your passengers are adequately covered in the event of an accident. Sandifer Insurance can help. Protecting our clients from the financial chaos that can happen after a car accident is our specialty.
If you have questions about your auto insurance, contact Sandifer Insurance Agency today. One of our agents will be happy to evaluate your existing policy or recommend a new automobile insurance policy that is right for your needs.
Reach out to us by phone, email, or online if you’d like to know more about our services.