It stands to reason that the more time drivers in Florida and around the country spend on the road, the higher their chances are of being involved in an accident. When an Austrian telematics company studied the link between journey times and crash rates in September 2020, their researchers discovered that accident risks increased substantially after about 20 minutes of driving. However, they also made a surprising discovery. The researchers noticed that almost a quarter of the accidents in the more than 3 million journeys they studied took place when drivers had been behind the wheel for three minutes or less with a further 14% occurring during the next three minutes.
Twice as likely to crash
According to the study, drivers who take trips lasting longer than 40 minutes are more than twice as likely to crash as motorists who make journeys lasting less than 20 minutes. The researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing data from 40,000 drivers who were involved in 1,986 accidents in 2018 and 2019. When asked about the results, one of the researchers speculated that advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking systems could be especially effective at preventing accidents during the first few minutes of driving because of the speeds involved.
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety seems to support this opinion. When the road safety organization tested automatic braking systems in 2019, it found that they were far more effective at lower speeds. Another reason these systems could prevent an MVA during the first few minutes of driving is because they are designed to go into action when motorists allow their minds to wander, which tends to happen more often on familiar roads.
Suing distracted drivers
Autonomous safety features like automatic brakes use sensors to identify obstructions in the roadway, other vehicles and pedestrians. The information they gather is often stored on data recorders similar to the black boxes on aircraft, and it could be used by experienced personal injury attorneys to show that drivers were not paying attention when they were involved in accidents. Attorneys could also look for evidence of distraction by studying cellphone records or police accident reports.