What Locations Come With the Highest Risk for Car and Motorcycle Accidents?
You may have heard that car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, are most likely to occur close to home. This commonly stated belief holds up when you look at statistics. However, the conditions of the road, the type of road you’re on, and other factors can also impact your risk of being involved in an accident.
Do Most Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen Close to Home?
When you consider injuries of any type, people are more likely to be hurt closer to home. In a study that looked at injury risks close to home, researchers reviewed the facts related to injuries for more than 3,200 patients. Of those, 88 percent were injured within 10 miles of their homes. When researchers looked specifically at injuries involving motor vehicle accidents, 77 percent of them occurred within 10 miles of the person’s home.
This isn’t the only study that has looked at the correlation between distance from home and the likelihood of being involved in a car accident. Researchers have put forth a number of potential reasons for this correlation, including:
- The fact that people travel more within the few miles around their home than they do outside of that area, increasing the opportunities for an accident to occur
- The possibility that people take more risks or may not pay as close attention to the roadway when they’re in their “home territory”
- The risk that people may be so familiar with the roads that they end up driving on a sort of mental autopilot
- The increased chance that people who are closer to home may be driving while distracted or intoxicated
Intersections Increase the Chance of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Places where roads converge, such as intersections, can increase the chance of car and motorcycle accidents. This is due primarily to the fact that traffic comes together in these areas — often flowing in opposite and perpendicular directions. This can increase the chance that vehicles might collide.
A number of factors can increase the chances of accidents at intersections, including:
- The mechanism by which traffic flows. There are different risks for intersections governed by traffic lights, stop signs, and traffic circles, for example.
- The volume of traffic. A busier intersection may be more likely to see accidents due to the nature of statistics.
- The speed of traffic. The speed at which traffic flows on the road coming into the intersection can impact the risk of accidents.
- Visibility at the intersection. The ability of drivers to see traffic flowing in all directions impacts accident risks, so hills, landscaping, buildings, and even where the sun rises or sets can affect the likelihood of accidents.
Traveling on State Highways May Increase Your Risk of an Accident
In the majority of the states in the nation, state highways see the highest number of fatal accidents. Georgia is one of those states, where around 41 percent of fatal roadway accidents occur on state highways. By the numbers, accidents on local streets and U.S. highways in the state account for the least fatalities. Interstate accidents account for around 15 percent of fatalities, and accidents on county roads account for around 24 percent of fatal accidents.
Some Locations Can Increase Your Chances of a Serious Accident
While you may be more likely to get into any type of accident closer to home, the figures used to calculate that fact include minor fender benders. While serious accidents can occur on any type of roadway, they can be more likely on roads where cars travel at higher speeds. They may also be more likely on major streets and highways where larger vehicles or many vehicles are likely to travel.
Numerous studies have also indicated that crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities are more likely to occur in rural or suburban areas than they are in urban areas. This may be due in part to the fact that vehicles have more ability to get up to high speeds in less congested areas.
Weather and Road Conditions Matter
Your chances of being involved in an accident increase somewhat in bad weather. That’s true on all roads. Rain, snow, ice, and fog can all create conditions that lead to more accidents.
Car and Motorcycle Accidents Can Occur Anywhere
While it can be interesting to look at statistics about car and motorcycle accidents — and knowing where you might be at greatest risk can help you be more aware and drive defensively — the truth is that accidents can occur on any type of street. It’s important to always be aware of what is going on around you, to operate your car or motorcycle with care, and to drive defensively to avoid accidents when possible.
If you are involved in an accident, knowing what to do at the scene and afterward to protect your interests is also important. At the scene, ensure that you are safe. If you can move out of the roadway, do so. Call and report the accident and request an ambulance if necessary. You should also exchange information with anyone involved in the accident or ensure that everyone provides their information to any law enforcement officer that arrives on the scene.
If you were injured in an accident, consider the extent of your injuries and other damages. Don’t sign the first settlement offer that comes your way from the insurance company if you don’t feel that it appropriately covers your damages. Instead, reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and find out what options you might have for seeking compensation for your losses. Call the team at Jarrett & Price at 912-461-4410 to find out how we can help.