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Rural versus urban driving: Is one safer than the other?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Many urbanites tend to marvel at the wide-open roads when they visit more rural areas such as Hazlehurst. There are a few reasons they tend to think that an area like that is idyllic compared to a larger capital city like Jackson. No traffic is one of them. 

While it’s indeed true that a reduction in traffic can lead to lower crash rates, it may surprise you to learn that countless other factors can make more slower-paced rural areas remarkably less safe than urban ones. Knowing what those are might just save your life.

What percentage of crashes occur in urban versus rural settings?

Data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) shows that more than half of all deadly motor vehicle crashes don’t happen in urban settings, but instead rural ones.  

Why are accident rates so high in rural areas?

Previous research conducted by National Public Radio focused on highlighting the factors that give way to rural crashes and why they often prove fatal. Some of the nuggets of insight that emerged from their research included:

  • Rural motorists use seatbelts less often than their urban counterparts.
  • Individuals are more apt to engage in impaired driving in rural areas.
  • There’s a stronger chance of a motorist encountering wildlife that runs out into their path in a rural setting.
  • The likelihood of quickly being discovered if an accident occurs in a rural area is slim to none, a factor that can delay a victim’s life-saving medical treatment.
  • Speeding, which can lead to a loss of control of a vehicle, is more common in rural areas, perhaps due to roadway design or a reduced police presence.
  • Rural roadways are typically narrow and feature limited shoulders. A centerline is all that separates drivers from oncoming traffic.

Crashes in urban areas, in contrast, tend to center around reckless driving behaviors such as a motorist not stopping at a red light, running a stop sign or becoming distracted and tailgating another motorist in heavy traffic.

Steps to take following a wreck

Medical costs, even if you have health insurance, can quickly mount. You may find it difficult to make ends meet financially while you’re out of work recovering from your injuries. Situations like these may warrant you seeing if you qualify for compensation for your injuries stemming from a car crash.