If someone asked you whether roads were roads more dangerous in town or in the countryside, you might assume in town. It seems logical as there are far more people and vehicles, far more intersections, parked cars and so on. Yet, surprisingly, it is not true.
Figures from the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 56% of all people that die in vehicle crashes nationwide do so on a rural road. Nationwide you are 2.5 times more likely to die per mile on a rural road than on an urban street.
Why is this?
Here are four reason why rural roads are more dangerous than urban ones?
- Speed: Speed limits are much higher away from town. Speed exacerbates the effect of errors and vastly increases the consequences of a crash.
- Alcohol: People who live in towns and cities have more options if they go out to drink. They might be able to walk home, take public transport or grab a cab. People living in the sticks may have none of these options so are more likely to drive after drinking.
- Animals: While wild animals occasionally wander into the middle of urban areas, you are far more likely to encounter them on a rural road. Crashes can occur with the animal or when trying to avoid them.
- Time to get medical treatment: Those injured in a car crash need urgent medical attention. The sooner an ambulance reaches you, the higher the chance you survive.
It is important to understand the particular dangers of all roads you drive on. Yet, many drivers will still take unnecessary risks on rural roads that they would not in the town. If one of them injures you in a car crash understanding your legal options will be crucial.