The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas made worldwide news. It is considered to be one of the worst mass shootings in United States history. More recently, the story of a couple who survived the shooting came to light. Not necessarily because of their survival, but because they perished in a car accident just two weeks later. The accident occurred right outside of their gated community.
According to reports, the husband and wife ran for their lives when shots rang out at the concert in Las Vegas. The were among the lucky who survived. The died only two weeks later when the car they were traveling in crashed into a gate outside of their community. Their family said that they loved each other so much that they had to go together.
The accident brought to light the fact that most accidents occur only a short distance from home. While most people may not consider that they are at risk when they are close to their own homes, they are. Studies have shown that the greatest percentage of accident occur between 2 and 5 miles from your very own home. But why?
The “why” is because people tend to only travel within a certain radius. We shop, dine and entertain ourselves near our homes. Sure, we may travel hundreds of miles away, but we typically don’t stray too far from our comfort zone when it comes to commuting to work and school. It stands to reason, then, that the majority of accident occur within a 10-mile radius of our front doors.
Because you now know this, there are steps you can take to make yourself safer.
One of the factors that lead to accidents near home is that sense of auto-pilot we get when we commute. If you’ve ever gotten to your destination and couldn’t quite remember how you got there, you know what we’re talking about. This is largely due to muscle memory. When you drive the same route over and over, you drive with your muscles more than your brain. Stay aware of your surroundings, no matter how close to home you are.
Another way to rid yourself of that auto-pilot feeling is to change up your route. Instead of taking the same highway to work everyday, take the back roads. Instead of turning right out of your driveway, turn left. Do what you can to change your direction of travel at least once a week. When you do this, your mind will automatically be more alert.
People naturally have a sense of security when they are traveling through their own neighborhoods. You know where people tend to speed. You know where police like to sit, waiting for people to run a stop sign. You know where the kids live. All of these things may be true, but they don’t mean you can let your guard down. If you have a sense of security driving through your neighborhood, lose it.
You may be surprised at how many accidents occur when someone is backing out of their driveway. Don’t rely on your rear-facing camera; it’s no substitute for looking with your own eyes. Look both way before pulling out of your driveway and then look again. An even safer idea is to take a walk around your car before you get in it. That way, you can be sure that nothing or no one is sitting behind it virtually invisible.
We tend to get a bit more lax behind the wheel the closer to home we are. Make sure that you aren’t distracted by anything in your vehicle while you’re driving. That includes your cell phone, radio and even your kids. Keep in mind that you only have one job behind the wheel: driving. You shouldn’t be eating, chatting or rocking out to your favorite band.
Experts say that simply being aware can drastically reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. Close to home doesn’t mean that you are out of danger – it means you are greater risk. Keep your wits about your, keep your eyes peeled and pay attention to what is happening around you. When you do these things, you may just reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident.
If you do happen to be involved in a car accident in West Palm Beach or the surrounding area, you have legal rights. If someone else is found to be at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages and more. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will discuss your accident with you and advise you of your legal rights, helping you make the best decisions for your unique situation.