Are city streets or rural roads more dangerous?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

People often feel safest and most comfortable on the types of roads that they drive most often. Someone who’s used to driving in the city may not find this task to be as chaotic and confusing as someone who’s used to driving in the country, for example.

But perceptions are personal and don’t necessarily reflect statistical reality. When you look at the fatal accident rates of urban vs. rural roads, for example, you’ll find that it is higher on rural roads. This may or may not line up with how dangerous it feels to you, uniquely, to drive on each type of road. Why, objectively, are fatal accident rates higher per miles traveled than they are in urban areas?

Distance to hospitals

One reason is that medical services are often farther away in rural settings. Someone who gets in an accident on a rural road may be injured and need prompt treatment to save their life, but if they don’t get it because the ambulance can’t even get to the crash site for 20 minutes, that could turn an otherwise injurious accident into a fatal one. The same accident and injuries in the city may allow for a victim to receive necessary treatment in just a few minutes, saving the person’s life.

Higher speed limits

Speed limits in rural areas are often higher. So, someone who is breaking the speed limit may be going 65 miles an hour, rather than 45 miles an hour. Accidents are more likely to be fatal at higher speeds and speeds tend to be higher – across the board – in rural areas.

Dangerous driving behaviors

Finally, studies have concluded that there are some dangerous behaviors that take place more often on rural roads, such as drivers not using their seatbelts or driving under the influence. Once again, it’s not that these events don’t happen in the city. But higher speed limits mean that additional risks are more dangerous, so they contribute to a higher percentage of fatal crashes overall.

What options does an injured person have?

Those who have lost loved ones in car accidents or suffered serious injuries may be facing numerous financial challenges, including medical bills, funeral costs and lost wages. They need to know exactly what legal options they have to seek compensation from those who was responsible. This is true regardless of where an accident may have occurred.