Rural traffic accidents are more common than urban ones: Why?

Did you know that more wrecks happen on rural roads than on urban ones? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2019 the former had a vehicular incident fatality rate per 100 miles that was approximately twice that of the latter’s.

This may seem counter-intuitive to you. After all, urban areas have more stops, congestion and people. However, there are reasons that explain this statistic.

A decline in caution

The very factors that may make country roads seem safer to you may also cause you to develop a false sense of security. There are fewer police officers patrolling them. There are also fewer cars to watch out for. As a result, you may not monitor the road as carefully. You may also behave in ways you might normally avoid in a city. For instance, you may speed more, take off your seatbelt, drink alcohol or text while driving. The appearance of less danger actually leads to more.

An unexpected peril

You are unlikely to encounter a deer or other wildlife creature in the city. The chances of hitting one are much higher in rural areas. Even if you manage to avoid smacking into one, the action of swerving to avoid it may still land you in a ditch or wrapped around a tree. The risk goes up because you may not expect a random animal to jump in front of your car.

A 2019 ABC13 news article stated that North Carolina has some of the deadliest rural roads in the nation. While you may instinctively want to relax on backroads and country paths, it is important not to give in to the urge. Rural roads carry dangers too. Using the same caution you would on a city road may help you avoid a wreck.

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