where accidents happen crash graphic

Common Places Where Accidents Happen

Austin Car Accident Lawyers Evaluate Where Accidents Happen

Accidents happen. They seem to happen all the time. Every year, Americans have more than 2 million crashes. The instance of motor vehicle injuries has decreased by 31% since 2000. This is a victory that should be celebrated. But there is still room for improvement, and we are far from zero deaths. There are over 32,000 traffic fatalities annually in the United States.

According to a national survey conducted by Progressive Insurance, of accidents occur within one mile of home. In fact, 72% of accidents occur within 15 miles of home. But does it matter where “home” is? Studies show – yes. Before we can reach “Vision Zero” a traffic safety goal, there is still more to understand about traffic hazards and where accidents take place.

Where do most traffic accidents happen?

Trying to determine where car accidents happen can be tricky. A car crash may occur at home, on the road, at work, or in a parking lot.

Accidents at home: When you think of an accident at home, you may be thinking of a fall from atop a ladder. Or maybe you forgot to put your vehicle in park. We know life gets more hectic with kids around, and accidents happen. If you want to know more about slip and fall injuries, check out our resource guide to trips, slips and falls.

If you or a loved one experienced an crash in a parking lot, you may experience difficulty reporting your case because it was not on a public roadway. If a pedestrian was hit in a parking lot, the injuries may be devastating for you or your family. Call experienced personal injury attorneys Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn.

Home is Where the Heart is, and Accidents Too

According to a national survey conducted by Progressive Insurance, 52% of crashes occur within five minutes of a driver’s home.

Most people will spend most of their time driving near and around their home. The daily commute to work, a run to the grocery store, and dropping the kids off at school are all trips that begin and end at a person’s place of residence. So if you’ve ever wondered why your insurance company needs to know where you live, they may want to know if you live on a street that has a high instance of crashes.

According to national survey, 23 percent of reported crashes occur one mile or less from a driver’s home.

Only 1 percent of crashes occurred when drivers were more than 50 miles away from home. If you’ve ever been in an accident on vacation, or had a car brake down you may remember the instance with more clarity. The incident may have had a dramatic effect on your vacation or visit with family, even if there were no injuries.

crash map

Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Happen in Austin?

  1. Guadalupe St: 84 Crashes
  2. South Congress: 72 Crashes
  3. I-35: 59 Crashes

How do we know? One way to get a visual of where and when bicycle accidents occur in Austin is to check out the Austin portal of youarehere.cc. The You Are Here Project was made by MIT students. The work focuses on evaluating social processes and visualizes characteristic data points.

This work from the You Are Here Project evaluates the number of accidents on roads in Austin, TX. The data comes from a five year period beginning in 2009 and ending in 2014.
Sources of data:

Number of Texas Car Accidents Might Be Texas-Sized

where to accidents happen infographic

Texas holds the highest number of traffic fatalities – at 3,538 in 2014. That’s more than any other state that year.

Living in Texas has a lot of added perks, especially when taking a road trip. First, Texas has some of the most fun traffic stops. Buckee’s is the home of clean bathrooms and an entire aisle of beef jerky. Second, there’s the lone star state’s burger chains DQ and Whataburger. DQ, aka the self proclaimed “Texas Stop Sign” was purchased by Warren Buffet in the late 90s. We get it: longhorns have more than a few great reasons to stop in their full size pickups.

Are accidents more likely to happen on Texas’ High-speed roads?

But one of the best parts of traveling in Texas (and why we can afford to make more frequent stops) is that speed limits on Texas roads are Texas sized. Texans have a need for speed.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas holds the highest speed limits. Unlike other states, Texans can drive 80 mph, or even 85 mph on some segments of roads.

SH 130: How TxDoT Weighed in on Texas’ Need for Speed

When State Highway 130 was completed, the Texas Department of Transportation was posed with a question: would drivers be able to travel along the 41-mile stretch between Austin and San Antonio at 85 mph? Higher speed limits would pose a higher velocity, and potentially more deaths. It has been shown in studies that freeway deaths increase with the freeway speed limits. Makes sense, right? Higher speed = a deadlier crash. High-velocity objects collide with greater force, yes. But that impact isn’t the only factor that determines whether roads are safe.

Texas Leads the nation with highest speed limit

TXDoT opted to entice drivers to the route around town with a higher speed limit. After all, the road was built to reduce traffic on the much-too-traveled stretch of highway along I-35 near Austin. Despite some concerns that a higher speed limit could pose a bigger risk, transportation services stuck with an 85 mph speed limit. This makes it the highest speed limit in the country and the second highest speed limit in the world.

The Highest Speed Limit is in Bulgaria at 87 mph.

Did the lone star state choose speed over safety? Not necessarily. Even though vehicles are moving at a higher rate of speed, they are less likely to crash with another object because of the fewer number of exits, and lower number of vehicles on the road.

In the United States, Texas had the largest number of speeding related fatalities at 1,284 while Rhode Island and District of Columbia had the least at 12.
There aren’t any Buckee’s or DQ’s with easy on-off ramps on SH-130 – yet.

Austin I-35 Accident Lawyers

Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn negotiated two settlements resulting in $69,000 paid to an Austin woman whose vehicle was rear-ended in a five-car pile-up on I-35. Her serious injuries required two surgeries. Total amount recovered was $110,000.

Where do most fatal car accidents happen?

According to data by National Highway Traffic Safety Association, fatal crashes occur in urban and rural areas about equally. Between 2012-2014 (the most recent data available) on average 3,445 fatal crashes occurred each year. Of those, 1,713 crashes occurred in urban areas. 1,730 fatal crashes occurred in rural areas.

Comparing Rural and Urban Fatal Crash Statistics in the U.S.

Declining rural population: Looking at the data can be somewhat misleading. It would be true to say that “between 2000 and 2010 the rural population grew.” However, compared to the growth seen in urban areas the urban population growth is very small. In fact, the percentage of the U.S. population living in rural areas decreased 1.7% over a 10-year period.

More Fatal Accidents Happen in Rural Areas

According to the nationwide data provided by NHTSA and the 2010 Census provided by the United States Census Bureau, about 80% of the population lives in urban areas, while only 19.3% of the United States population lives in rural areas. That means that fatal crashes occur disproportionately in rural areas. Although 19.3* percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, rural crashes accounted for 55* percent of total traffic fatalities in all states. (*Numbers are from 2010.)

Texas: Rural Miles Traveled are Twice as Dangerous

In Texas, rural areas accounted for 48.3 percent of all crashes. In 2010, 12% of the Texas population lived in non-metropolitan areas according to the U.S. Census data.

Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled:
Urban: .94
Rural: 2.35
VMT (vehicle miles traveled)

Texas Has Higher Instances of Fatal Traffic Deaths than Average for U.S.

According to national statistics, driving in Texas is more dangerous than driving in most other states. In 2014, the number of traffic fatalities per 100,000 in Texas was 13.12. The national average rested at 10.25.

What’s the city with the lowest number of fatalities? The District of Columbia boasts the lowest number of fatalities per 100,000 with fewer than 4 fatalities for 100,000 population.

Why does Texas top the list as one of the most dangerous states? Texas is a big state, and many don’t find their commutes walkable. With new urban populations, Texas cities such as Dallas, Houston and Austin have made relatively recent updates in transportation to help their workers travel from home to work.

But these cities have grown quickly and roads are often not built as fast as people move to Texas. With a population size as large as Texas’ it’s no accident that traffic fatalities would be higher here. Remember that rural roads are statistically more dangerous than urban roads. So when Texas is compared to California total death rates, even though California has a higher overall population, Texas has a larger population living in rural areas. This has not been proven, but may be a possible explanation for Texas’ accident-prone streets.

States with the Most Traffic Fatalities

These states have the highest totals in traffic fatalities according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association.) Most are highly populated, and with large land masses.

  1. Texas: 3,538 total traffic fatalities
  2. California: 3,074 total traffic fatalities
  3. Florida: 2,494 total traffic fatalities
  4. Georgia: 1,164 total traffic fatalities
  5. North Carolina: 1,284 total traffic fatalities
  6. New York: 1,039 total traffic fatalities

Here’s a shortlist of the 5 Most dangerous states according to deaths per 100,000 population:

  1. Wyoming: 25.68 deaths per 100,000 population. The rural roads of Wyoming can make for a scenic drive – but if you go for a trip up North watch out for the many wild animals that still call the region home. Moose and bison may be crossing the road.
  2. Mississippi: 20.27 deaths per 100,000 population. One look at the state website and it seems that state officials in Mississippi are aware of their larger-than-average-share of the U.S’ traffic fatalities. The “Don’t Be THAT Driver” calls on Mississippians to drive smarter by putting their phone down, abiding the speed limit and watching out for construction workers repairing the roads. Join the conversation with #DriveSmarMS
  3. Montana: 18.76 deaths per 100,000 population. As we’ll discuss later in the article, rural areas see higher rates of traffic fatalities. Montana’s mountainous terrain is no exception to this rule.
  4. New Mexico: 18.36 deaths per 100,000 population. Relatively rural, New Mexico made this list with only 383 total traffic fatalities. However according to their population – this was high enough to make New Mexico the 4th most dangerous state, per capita.
  5. North Dakota: 18.26 deaths per 100,000 population.

Austin Car Accident Lawyer | McMinn Law Firm

If you or someone  you know has been involved in an accident close or far from home, contact McMinn law firm for a free case evaluation. We work hard to bring justice on the side of all our clients.