My mom always cautioned us kids that there were more wrecks close to home than anywhere else, urging us to be vigilant even in the neighborhood. We thought she was just saying that but it turns out she was right: 69% of all accidents occur within a 10-mile radius of where people live*. It seems that drivers have a false sense of security when they are so familiar with their surroundings and let down their guard.
It’s easy to become complacent when things seem easy. Students often receive their lowest grades in the “easiest” courses when they invest their study time and effort to earn an A in science or calculus, then receive a B in art. Athletic teams often lose the week after they won an upset or when they’re playing an underdog team – letting up on the practice that made other victories possible. Politicians, too, become victims of the letdown, doing poorly in a second debate or primary when they rest on their laurels after acing the first.
It’s tempting to relax when it seems effortless to do so, but letting up often leads to a letdown.