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Driver inattention close to home likely source of many accidents

Every day, residents drive through their neighborhoods in New York feeling relaxed in familiar surroundings. People know their daily routes so thoroughly that they sometimes navigate them without paying much attention. The constant repetition of driving the same roads makes people tune out and operate vehicles mostly from muscle memory. Driving inside these comfortable zones reduces people's vigilance, and they might fail to respond in time to sudden hazards like an animal in the road or another vehicle.

Many car crashes take place within 25 miles of the drivers' homes. Drivers can combat their tendencies to let their guards down in familiar territory by consciously staying alert. An unpredictable event on the road could occur at any time and anywhere, so the conscious effort to maintain vigilance translates into safer travel.

A lax attitude about seat belt usage on short trips also proves that many people feel a false sense of safety close to their homes. In a survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the main reason given by drivers for failing to buckle up was traveling a short distance.

When a driver makes a mistake and causes a wreck, the law might impose liability upon the driver for other people's injuries, especially if the driver was reckless and negligent. Motor vehicle accidents can inflict serious or even catastrophic injuries. A victim of such circumstances could ask an attorney to prepare a personal injury claim. An attorney could assemble the evidence about the cause of the wreck and tally the damages from medical bills and lost income. This information could convince an insurance company to pay a settlement. If a settlement does not emerge through negotiations, an attorney could take the case to trial and present the evidence to a jury.

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