Some North Carolina residents may believe that buckling up is an unnecessary precaution when making short trips on familiar roads. However, data gathered by road safety advocacy groups suggests otherwise. Even crashes that occur at residential speeds can cause death or catastrophic injury. Furthermore, the chances of being involved in an accident on local streets may actually be higher because of the way the human brain works.
The brain constantly prioritizes the tasks it must perform, and it may delegate driving duties to the subconscious mind when roads are familiar. Most drivers are familiar with the strange sensation of not remembering the last few miles of road traveled; it is this semi-autonomous state that experts say makes car accidents more likely and more dangerous.
This is because drivers who are no longer paying proper attention are less prepared to deal with emergency situations like an animal or child running in front of their vehicles. Experts urge drivers to protect themselves by remaining alert and fastening their seat belts even when taking short trips. Vigilance is especially important during the late afternoon hours when the roads become clogged with impatient drivers heading home from work.
Motorists who allow their attentions to wander often fail to brake or swerve before crashing. This lack of evasive action could be used by personal injury attorneys to establish recklessness in lawsuits filed on behalf of car accident victims. When police investigations are inconclusive, attorneys could conduct additional inquiries or examine the electronic information stored by modern cars to determine whether or not evasive action was taken.