It is not surprising that Florida car accidents tend to hit close to home. In fact, most Florida car accidents happen more frequently at certain times during the day and close to where drivers live. More cars on the road mean that there is a greater risk for an accident. Late afternoon and during the evening hours are the most dangerous times for a person to drive. These also happen to be the most popular times for commuter traffic. Being aware of when and where car accidents most commonly occur can help you reduce the risk of becoming involved in a crash.

In the United States, there is a car crash about once every 5.2 seconds. Certain studies suggest that about one in three car accidents happen within a mile of a person’s home. An even higher percentage of car accidents happen within a 25-mile radius of a person’s home. This is generally because most driving occurs within this radius. However, there are other reasons why car accidents have a tendency to happen closer to where a person lives. When a person makes a routine commute, the repetition of the driving can cause a person to become relaxed and less alert than if they were driving an unfamiliar route. Accordingly, motorists are more comfortable driving in areas that they are familiar with and can be less alert.

Sometimes, a person can go into “autopilot” mode when they are driving a familiar commute. Your brain tends to rely on muscle memory instead of focusing on surroundings, which can pose a danger because drivers are less aware of what is happening on the road. There are two important things that you can do when you are driving close to home to avoid an accident from occurring. First, make sure that you always wear your seat belt, even if you are only traveling around the corner. Second, drivers should always stay alert of their surroundings.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the main reason that drivers offer for not wearing seatbelts is that they are only traveling a short distance. However, given that most accidents occur within a short distance of a person’s home this can be a dangerous decision. Always bucking up is an important habit to establish for drivers and their passengers. It is also vital that drivers refrain from distractions such as texting, eating, or talking on their cell phones, even if they are traveling within a short distance of their home.

It is equally important for drivers to stay alert at all times during their drive. Do not fall into a comfort zone during familiar parts of your drive as it could significantly reduce your risk for becoming involved in a car accident. Be aware of when your attention starts to drift and bring your focus back to the road. Sometimes, rolling down the window can help regain attention when it is lost. Even if you believe you could drive your commute with your eyes closed, unpredictable factors such as other motorists, animals, pedestrians, or a car equipment failure can create a dangerous situation.

The car accident attorneys at Wittmer|Linehan knows that many car accidents happen when drivers are not alert and aware of road conditions. While car accidents are not completely avoidable, understanding where and when these accidents are more likely to occur can help you stay safe on the roadways. If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident, our experienced attorneys can help you better understand your rights and achieve the results that you deserve. In 2017, our firm obtained the largest reported personal injury verdict in the history of Sarasota or Manatee counties. Call us today at (941) 365-2296 for a free consultation.