As Americans continue to become more and more dependent on their automobiles, the likelihood of being involved in a car crash increases. Auto manufacturers realize this, and spend millions of dollars developing advanced safety features such as air bags, head-on and side impact protection, and electronic stability control systems. Consumers also realize this, and are demanding further advances in automotive safety technology as each model year passes.
While some car accidents are a result of mechanical failure or hazardous road conditions (both of which make it more difficult for a driver to avoid a collision), many car crashes happen due to a lack of driver attentiveness and awareness. Cell phones, radios and passengers have all been known to cause accidents, as have alcohol, drowsiness and inexperience. Whatever the cause, car crashes can result in serious injury and death to innocent (and not so innocent) people.
As the likelihood of being involved in a car accident increases, so do the places where accidents can occur. The following are some of the most common places where car crashes happen:
It has been said that most car accidents happen close to home. In fact, a Progressive Insurance study from 2004 revealed that approximately 52% of all accidents occur within 5 miles from a person's home. Common neighborhood collisions include crashing into parked cars, backing out of a driveway and into someone driving by, and side-swiping a car to avoid pedestrians or other vehicles in the road.
Parking lots are arguably the place where, collectively, the most accidents occur. It is very common for 2 cars backing out of parking spaces to bump each other. Other people simply drive too fast through parking lots and cannot avoid vehicles that get in their way. Additionally, it is a frequent happening to see a car pull into a parking space and hit the vehicle(s) parked next to it. Low speed collisions that occur in venues such as parking lots may seem like minor occurrences, but the damage to the cars involved can be expensive to repair.
In large metropolitan areas such as New York and Los Angeles, commuters spend hours each day sitting in traffic travelling to and from work. Countless commuters use this time to multi-task, as people can be seen shaving, eating or even reading the newspaper while behind the wheel. Additionally, people may not be completely alert during their commute, as they are either tired from getting up early or tired from working a long day. With the gridlock that many large cities experience on a daily basis, traffic reports interrupt radio programming nearly every 15 minutes to inform drivers of current traffic conditions.
The list above provides some of the most common places that car accidents occur. While every car crash cannot be avoided, there are certain steps all drivers can take to ensure their safety on the roads. While paying attention to the road while driving is a given, paying attention to other drivers adds an extra measure of awareness. These simple (and common sense) acts can reduce collisions by a significant percentage, making the road a safer place for all.