Hunter & Cassidy Law

Are rural roads safer than urban ones?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2023 | Motor vehicle accidents

Driving in the daily traffic of your local town can soon get old. Thus, you may look forward to the times when you can hit the rural roads and breathe some fresh air.

You should not, however, relax too much, as 2021 figures from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that rural driving is potentially more dangerous than city driving. 

  • Rural driving came in at 1.72 crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled
  • Urban driving came in at 1.19 crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled

Previous years also showed a higher crash death rate for rural driving.

But surely there are more crashes in cities?

There are more crashes in cities because there are far more people living there so there are more people on the streets, be they drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians or cyclists. However, the general lower speed of urban driving means crashes are less likely to end in death. 

Help is also closer at hand in the city or town. An ambulance can usually reach you and get you to the hospital quicker than if you crash in a rural zone. A few minutes could mean the difference between living and dying.

Rural zones have their own specific dangers

Here are two:

  • Unmarked and rarely used intersections: Maybe you have driven a rural road regularly and never seen a vehicle come out of a particular side road. The first time they do may catch you by surprise. 
  • Animals crossing: Wild animals aren’t necessarily good at crossing roads and hitting a large one such as a deer can be enough to kill both driver and beast. In fact, you don’t even need to hit one to crash, as a driver swerving to avoid one could crash into you.

Wherever you crash if it is someone else’s fault, you’ll need to learn more about how to claim compensation.