Study reveals the dangers of short trips

The results of a recent study suggest that drivers in Maryland and around the country would be wise to pay particular attention during the first few minutes after getting behind the wheel. After analyzing more than 3 million car trips made by 40,000 drivers over a two-year period, researchers from a company that provides telematics services to insurance companies found that accidents most often occur during the first six minutes of driving.

Short trips can be dangerous

When the researchers looked at data gathered during trips lasting up to 10 minutes, they found that almost one in four of the accidents that occurred took place during the first three minutes of driving and almost 40% of the crashes happened during the first six minutes behind the wheel. They also noticed that almost 90% of the trips lasted less than half an hour. One of the data scientists involved concluded that road users could reduce their chances of being killed or seriously injured in car accidents by completing short trips on foot or on bicycles.

Cellphone use and distraction

The researchers also discovered that cellphone use was a factor in more than a quarter of the accidents studied. This suggests that drivers who complete short trips on familiar roads feel comfortable engaging in behavior that they would consider extremely dangerous in other situations. The results of the motor vehicle accident study were published in September 2020.

Evidence of distraction

When pursuing civil remedies on behalf of road users who may have been injured by a distracted driver, experienced personal injury attorneys may gather evidence by using a subpoena to obtain their cellphone records. They could also argue that distraction played a role by establishing that the defendant in a car accident lawsuit took no steps to avoid a crash.