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Would it be safer to spend more time driving on rural roads?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Car Accidents

There are times when driving in the city can feel chaotic and overwhelming. To some people, this makes it feel inherently more dangerous. They’re constantly worried about getting involved in a car accident – when someone else runs a red light, for instance, or suddenly cuts them off.

These drivers are often very happy to leave the city and get back on the rural roads that they’re used to. These roads tend to be less congested and they’re often easier to navigate. This can allow some drivers to relax, making them think that these rural roads are safer than city routes. But is that true?

The fatality rate is actually higher

When looking at safety, it’s hard to ignore the fatality rate on rural roads. It is higher than the rate on city streets. Rural roads experience less traffic but account for nearly half of fatal accidents. Since there are fewer cars covering fewer miles, the odds of being involved in a fatal crash when driving on rural roads is higher.

Rural roads are fundamentally different than city roads. Consider speed limits, for example. The average speed limit in the city may be around 35 miles an hour, while the standard speed limit on a rural road is generally 55 miles an hour. This makes a very big difference when considering how likely it is that someone will suffer fatal injuries in the event of an accident. These injuries are statistically more likely at higher speeds, due to the increased energy involved in a crash. This means that even drivers who are following the speed limit perfectly in both locations would not have the same odds of being fatally injured.

There are other issues on rural roads, including a higher rate of non-compliance with seat belt laws, impaired driving and distracted driving. Although these safety issues also exist in the city, they can result in more serious consequences on rural roads because of the higher speed limits and the likelihood of a greater distance to the nearest hospital.

Seeking compensation

When a family tragically loses a loved one in a car accident – whether on a rural or urban road – they may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost, wages and more. It’s important for them to understand what legal steps to take and seeking legal guidance is a good way to start.