The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks motor vehicle collision data in the U.S. Routinely, the NHTSA finds that more than half of serious motor vehicle accidents (such as those resulting in injury or death) occur within 25 miles of a victim’s home. In fact, more than half of all motor vehicle accidents in general occur within five miles of the home of a victim.

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There are various reasons why motor vehicle accidents tend to occur close to our homes, instead of in unfamiliar settings where we might be more inclined to expect them. These reasons include:

We May Take More Risks Close to Home

If someone is driving near their home, it’s possible they’re not planning on traveling far. They may be traveling to a nearby destination from their home, or they may be returning home from a destination in the immediate area. Either way, they can assume they won’t be behind the wheel for very long.

Some motorists are more inclined to take risks behind the wheel when they don’t have to travel far. For example, a driver who would never drive for a long time on the highway while under the influence of alcohol might nevertheless assume they’re safe driving a few miles from the bar to their house. Or, if someone is sleep-deprived but doesn’t have to travel far, they may decide they can drive instead of calling a cab to travel a short distance.

Don’t make these mistakes. The fact that you’re close to home doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to be hurt (or to hurt others) as a result of engaging in reckless driving.

We Let Our Guards Down Close to Home

Again, you might expect that motor vehicle accidents are more likely to occur when people are driving in areas they aren’t familiar with. To some degree, there’s sound logic to this assumption. It’s naturally harder to drive safely on streets you’ve never driven on before.

However, when people are driving in areas with which they are familiar, they may not be driving as vigilantly as they otherwise would. They don’t need to pay attention to know where they are going, so they are more prone to distraction. This is another way in which a person’s flawed mindset when driving close to home can increase their chances of causing an accident.

Some motorists are more inclined to take risks behind the wheel when they don’t have to travel far.

There’s More Chance for Certain Types of Accidents to Occur Close to Home

You don’t have to be inside a motor vehicle to be hurt in an accident or collision involving one. If you’re a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, your injuries could be quite severe, as you wouldn’t have the metal frame of a vehicle protecting you.

Pedestrian activity is often higher in residential neighborhoods than it may be near highways and other roads on which motorists travel. Thus, when driving close to your home, be aware that your odds of accidentally striking a pedestrian may be greater than they usually are.

Most People Do Most of Their Driving Near Home

It’s worth acknowledging the obvious when covering the reasons motor vehicle accidents tend to occur within close proximity of victims’ homes: most people do most of their daily driving near where they live.

You may be an exception. Whether it’s due to your job or some other element of your lifestyle, perhaps you drive far from home on a routine basis. However, the average motorist is usually operating their vehicle within 25 miles of home. It thus makes perfect sense that this is where most accidents would happen.


Pay attention to your pace as you get closer to home while driving. Some people are eager to get home because they’re returning from work or otherwise just wish to get home as soon as possible. These drivers may not even realize that they start to speed as they get closer to their houses or apartments.

You might think you don’t have to worry about any of this because you are a responsible driver who exercises caution at the wheel. While that may be so, you must remember you can’t control the decisions others make on the road.

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, an attorney may help you pursue the compensation for which you could be eligible. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston car accident lawyer can review your case and inform you of your legal options. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 to schedule a free consultation.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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