The number of auto accident injuries in the United States every year is scary to imagine, almost 40,000 die every year in automobile accidents. Nearly 6.5 million crashes are reported by or to police departments every year and an astonishing 2.5 million Americans are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. 

Most people do not think about car accidents on a typical day; however, when you or a loved one is in a car accident, there is hardly anything else to think about. Understanding where the majority of car accidents, bus accidents, motorcycle accidents, and commercial truck accidents happen; can help you be safer on the road and increase your awareness to avoid a serious car accident injury.

Car Accidents: Close to Home

You likely recall the old saying, “most car accidents happen close to home”. Well it turns out that claim is statistically accurate. Most car accidents do happen within a five-minute drive or less of most driver’s homes. Roughly one in three car accidents and motor vehicle crashes happen between one and five miles from car accident victims’ homes. The most common type of accident within this radius is drivers hitting parked cars; however, rear-end collisions are frequent close to home as well.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration show the following about car accidents: roughly 50% of all car wrecks happen within a 5-mile radius of home and almost 70% of all car wrecks in the United States happen within 10 miles of car accident victims’ homes. 

Although the majority of car accidents in the United States, and Oklahoma car accidents, occur close to home, they tend to be relatively minor. A common example is a rear-end accident in a neighborhood or city street that happens at low speeds.

You’re overly familiar with the roadway and your attention tends to drift off to other things. It’s important that you keep your awareness high when traveling on roadways close to your home to prevent getting into an auto accident.

Another big factor in driver’s false sense of security or familiarity close to home. Drivers are less likely to wear their seatbelt close to home. Drivers often do not wear seatbelts on trips down the street, whether it is the grocery store or Braum’s. 

One of the most common factors in traffic accidents close to home is looking at cell phones, talking on cell phones, or texting. Other common distractions inside a vehicle that results in car accidents close to home include: playing with the radio, eating while driving, or children causing distractions in the car, which results in a car wreck. 

When drivers are moving fast on busy city streets or highways, they are typically more focused on the road and their surroundings. Most drivers spend less time distracted on major roads and highways, which reduces the number car accidents farther away from home and increase the number of car wrecks close to home. 

Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents that is avoidable. Driver focused and drive safe, is a common refrain for car accident attorneys and insurance companies alike. 

Traffic Lights

Changes in traffic patterns and traffic lights can cause confusion and result in car accidents. Traffic lights and/or traffic patterns are another major contributor to car accidents in Oklahoma. Due to being late, wanting to get somewhere faster, or misjudging time to pass through an intersection, many car accidents happen in traffic intersections that are controlled by traffic lights.  

Most people have a fair amount of muscle memory in determining how long they need to stop their own vehicle before getting in a wreck. Unfortunately, many people are poor judges of the time it would take to stop before striking another moving car that comes to a quick stop or unexpected stop. Simply taking a second to look away or be distracted is often enough to remove the time needed to brake before being in a wreck with the vehicle in front of you. 

Parking Lots

Many people are surprised to find out that traffic accidents happen every day in parking lots across Oklahoma. Although bad accidents do happen in parking lots, i.e. pedestrians being struck or even run over in some instances. 

Most parking lot accidents are fender benders when a driver overshoots a parking spot or backs up too far or without looking. Rarely are vehicle accidents in a parking lot at a high speed, there are still a large number of minor car wrecks and car accidents, such as fender benders or rear-end accidents in parking lots. 

Rural Roadway

Rural roads in Oklahoma and across the country have the highest rate of single-vehicle accidents, i.e. a car wreck without another car. Many of these cases involve one vehicle driving at reckless or excess speeds. The vehicle is unable to maneuver a risky turn and loses control and wrecks. 

In other situations, due to fatigue or boredom, drivers will drift off the road and wreck. Additionally, lack of road maintenance or proper marking of ongoing road maintenance can result in car accidents in rural. Inclement weather is also a major cause of single-vehicle accidents and multiple vehicle accidents in rural Oklahoma. 

Finally, an often-undiscussed issue is train wrecks or cars being struck by trains. Whether you are driving to your hunting spot at 3:30 a.m. and are trying to beat a train to the train track intersection or simply late to a meeting and cross the train tracks, cars get in single vehicle accidents or get struck by trains on a regular basis. Fortunately, train wrecks or trains striking cars do not happen very often; however, the consequences are tragic and deadly. When in doubt, wait to cross the tracks. It is far better to be late than to risk your life and property in a potential train to car wreck. 

Two-Lane Roadways

Fortunately, two-lane road accidents occur at a higher rate than major highway or interstate accidents. Part of the issue is the small shoulder or two-lane roads, that often results in vehicle breakdowns being too close to active traffic. When a vehicle breaks down or has a tire blowout on a two-lane road, the driver will pull over onto the shoulder, if possible; however, there is not a lot of space on the side of a two-lane road. It is a scary fact; however, this often results in head-on collisions.

Weather is not the Problem

A stigmatism exists that most car wrecks are caused by bad weather, inclement weather or drunk drivers; however, this is far from what car wreck statistics show. In fact, most car accidents happen in the afternoon, when people are leaving work, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

You and everyone else is more likely to be in an accident on a hot summer day in the afternoon than at nighttime in a rain storm. Why do more accidents happen during the day? More people are traveling during the afternoon than at night, more people are on the roads during the summer than the winter months. There is a higher chance for a wreck at these times of day and times of year, due to the increased number of vehicles on the road, EVEN IF the percentage of accidents are higher at night time and in inclement weather. 

Holiday travel has one of the highest rates of accidents. Although accidents happen every day in all weather conditions, some are more severe than other accidents. You can better prepare yourself and/or the younger drivers in your home by being aware of the conditions that increase the likelihood of a car wreck. Awareness of the major causes of car accidents and the most common location for car accidents can help you prepare yourself or your family and limit the chance that you and your loved ones are involved in a car wreck. When in doubt slow down and give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and the cars or trucks in front of you. 

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Personal Injury Advocates

Experience matters when you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of the negligence of someone in a vehicle accident in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma personal injury lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of car accident law in Oklahoma. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for accident victims and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon is a Judge Advocate and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight for compensation in your car accident case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.