Why do drivers often crash into trees or lampposts?

Drivers seemingly crash into stationary objects more often than anything else, but this may just be a matter of perception. 

26th August 2010
Why do drivers often crash into trees or lampposts? (iStock)

Asked by: Anonymous

According to 2005 statistics for the US, crashes where the vehicle leaves the road only account for 16 per cent of car accidents – so mostly, drivers crash into each other. If it seems otherwise, here’s why…

First, lamppost and tree collisions are generally very serious (16 per cent of all accidents, but 31 per cent of fatal ones), so you’re more likely to hear about them.

Second, these accidents are less likely to block the road, so the vehicle will tend to be there longer and you’re more likely to see them.

Third, lampposts and trees are the most solid things at the side of the road. So, even if the car hits a hedge first, it ends up wrapped around a solid pole embedded firmly in the ground.


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