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Could driving on familiar roads lead to an accident?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You and your neighbors have lived in Indiana for several years. One day, your neighbor hits your car when you are a few blocks from your house, claiming she or he did not see you. If someone has driven the same streets for years on end, would that person not know where and when to expect accidents and other vehicles? 

The Association for Psychological Science examines how driving the same roads over time can lead to auto accidents. Get the answers that your neighbor may be unable to provide. 

What data reveals 

It may surprise you to learn that you are more likely to be in an auto accident while driving close to your house. The reason for this is that when drivers essentially operate on muscle memory, they take their full focus off the task of driving, leaving them open to making simple mistakes that can lead to an accident. If there is construction going on or a new street that just opened, you (or your neighbors) may not notice the change until it is too late. 

The study 

Two psychological scientists at the University of Waikato in New Zealand conducted a study in which participants drove the same route for three months. During the study, the scientists changed small details on the route, such as switching the language of street signs and removing entire buildings. As participants got more familiar with the route, they were less likely to notice the small changes. Additionally, the participants noted that over time, they paid less attention to their surroundings. This could be the reason why you or your neighbors could cause an accident and injure others. 

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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