Where Do Most Car Accidents Happen?

Car Accidents | October 19, 2022

Car accidents are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the US. But where do most car accidents occur, and how can you stay safer on the roads? Here’s a rundown of where most car accidents happen so you can take steps to protect yourself.   

Car accident on street rear-end collision between silver and black car

Close to Home

Research suggests that the closer to home you are, the more likely you are to have a car accident. 

  • You’re twice as likely to have an accident within one mile of your home than 20 miles away.
  • Accidents are less likely to happen 50 or more miles away from home. 

A reason for this could be that motorists feel safer driving on familiar roads so they’re more likely to lose concentration, or they could make assumptions about driving conditions based on past journeys rather than anticipating hazards. 

Intersections

Where do the most car accidents happen on the road? Intersections are a common hotspot. Typically, accidents at intersections are caused when drivers:

  • fail to stop at a yellow light
  • speed and run red lights 
  • turn left without checking the road is clear

Many vehicles pass through intersections daily. It only takes one distracted driver to cause an accident that may involve multiple vehicles and cause significant damage.   

Urban Roads

Car accidents happen often on urban roads due to the sheer number of drivers passing along these routes every day, whether they’re commuting to work or driving kids home from school. Common reasons for urban road accidents include:

  • distracted driving
  • speeding 
  • driving under the influence 
  • careless driving e.g. failing to use turn signals 

Urban road users often include cyclists and vulnerable individuals such as children. Crashes involving these individuals can be serious whether they occur at low or high speeds.   

Rural Roads

Statistics show that fatal car accidents often take place on rural roads. And interestingly, in rural areas, it’s more common for such accidents to happen on local roads rather than on rural highways. 

Why are car accidents so frequent on rural roadways? There are three possible reasons. 

  • Quiet stretches of the road mean drivers are more likely to speed, making it harder to avoid hazards.
  • Rural roads are often long and straight which could cause driver inattention and fatigue.
  • Drivers may be careless when overtaking slow vehicles, such as tractors. 

If you’re driving on rural roads, follow the speed limit and exercise caution at all times.    

Traffic 

Car accidents frequently occur in busy traffic. Accidents may be caused by:

  • texting at the wheel
  • failing to stop at stop signs 
  • switching lanes
  • aggressive driving 

Although accidents in heavy traffic often occur at low speeds, there’s still the chance of sustaining painful and debilitating injuries such as whiplash and back strains.     

Two-Lane Roads

On a two-lane road, there’s no physical barrier between lanes. Accidents are common on two-lane roads due to:

  • careless overtaking
  • speeding 
  • lane drifting 

Lane drifting is especially dangerous as it can result in head-on collisions at high speeds, particularly if there’s a heavy truck involved in the crash.   

Parking Lots

Where do car accidents happen most? In places where drivers are distracted, such as parking lots. 

Whether drivers are backing out of tight spaces, turning tight corners, or trying to find a spot in a crowded lot, parking lots are prime locations for fender-benders and collisions involving pedestrians. Although many parking lot accidents happen at low speeds, there’s still the potential for significant injury depending on the nature of the collision and how many vehicles are involved.    

Where Do Most Fatal Car Accidents Happen?

Black car with smashed front bumper after a car accident on the road

As mentioned, fatal accidents occur most often on rural roads. Interestingly, single-vehicle crashes account for the most fatalities in all road accidents, but there are discrepancies across states.   

Regardless of the location, though, fatalities among all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, are on the rise more generally across the US. 

What Time of Day Do Most Car Accidents Happen?

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatal crashes are most common on Saturdays and Sundays. Non-fatal crashes, on the other hand, most often occur during the week.

  • Crashes, in general, occur most often between 4 pm and 8 pm. 
  • Non-fatal crashes peak on a Friday.
  • During the summer, fatal crashes occur frequently when it’s dark (between 8 pm and midnight). 

In other words, most car accidents happen during rush hour, although fatal crashes may be more likely at night when there’s reduced visibility on the roads.    

How Do I Prevent Car Accidents?

While it’s impossible to prevent every car accident, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks. 

  • Keep a safe distance between you and the driver in front so you can stop safely if they brake suddenly or turn unexpectedly. 
  • When you’re emerging into traffic or leaving a parking spot, move slowly and double-check for oncoming vehicles before moving. 
  • Scan ahead as you drive. Looking ahead will help you spot potential hazards before you approach. 
  • Even when your light turns green, make sure other vehicles have stopped at their red light before moving.    
  • Don’t drive if you’re tired, overly distracted, or drowsy.  

Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident

If you’re hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can claim compensation from the at-fault driver for your injuries. At the AK Law Firm, our car accident attorneys are committed to securing fair compensation for our clients. We are proactive in our approach and we will always give your case the attention it merits. 

The experienced personal injury attorneys at the AK Law Firm always put you, the client, first. Contact us now or call our law firm today to get the compensation you deserve.