New Zealand researchers have found that car crashes are more likely closer to home.
According to an article published in Safety Science, researchers from the University of Waikato found that half of all injury-causing crashes occurred within seven km of the driver's home.
The study is based on data representative of all travel (from the New Zealand Household Travel Survey) and crash in New Zealand, by New Zealand drivers, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
The researchers suggest possible reasons for the phenomenon. "Inattention blindness" is one reason where drivers less attend to hazards on familiar routes. Alcohol is a bigger factor for near-home crashes, while fatigue plays a greater role in crashes beyond 30 km from home.
The study shows that on average, drivers are more likely to crash close to home. Roads within 11 km of home accounted for half of all travel and 62 percent of all crashes.
The "close to home" effect held for male and female drivers. Novice drivers were the only demographic subgroup to not exhibit the close to home effect.
The researchers said complacency associated with driving on familiar roads may be a factor in injury crash risk for experienced drivers.