Have you ever heard someone say that most car accidents happen close to home? You may find this a bit surprising. It’s easy to assume that accidents would be more likely to occur farther from home while you are traveling on unfamiliar roads than while driving through a neighborhood that you drive through all of the time.

It is true, though. One study claimed that around 77% of car crashes happened when at least one person involved was within 10 miles of the place that they lived. Why is this?

One potential reason is familiarity. If you drive on the same road all the time, do you get bored? Do you get complacent? When you’re on roads that you don’t know as well, it stands to reason that you may pay more attention to the road — out of necessity — and therefore, drive more carefully.

Another potential reason is just exposure. You spend more time on the roads that are near your house so your odds of crashing on those roads are simply higher. If you work within 10 miles of your house and also have the grocery stores and other places you need to visit within that radius, you may spend 90% of your time driving on roads within that 10-mile zone. If you crash, odds are you’re on those roads.

No matter why it happens, this fact shows just how accidents can happen to people who never expect it. You’ve made that drive to work thousands of times without incident. You don’t expect today to be the day you get hit. If you do, you must know what options you have to pursue compensation.