Do More Car Accidents Happen in Rural or Urban Areas?
Driving can be a dangerous activity. When you head out on the road, you are operating a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds and can move much faster than a person, creating a very strong force. With every other vehicle on the road, the inherent risk of driving is compounded.
For many motorists, the question of safety is always front of mind. When a parent is teaching their teenager how to drive, there are so many tips and tricks that they want to impart to ensure their child will be safe on the road. Are seat belts fastened and secure? Are the rear- and side-view mirrors angled correctly? Do any indicators light up on the dashboard while driving? These questions should be asked by all drivers whenever they get into the car.
Where Do More Accidents Happen?
While driving, the chance of a motor vehicle accident will increase depending on where you are. Stop signs, traffic lights, rural roads, parking lots, intersections, and multiple-lane roads are all common locations for car accidents. To return to the original question, let’s take a look at some of the differences between motor vehicle collisions in rural and urban areas.
Rural Motor Vehicle Crashes
Outside of cities and suburban environments, the dangers of driving look a little bit different than those in urban areas, and crash characteristics are varied.
More Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes
On rural roads, traffic fatalities are more common than they are in urban environments, with a much higher fatal crash incidence density. The main reason for this is that the average speed limit is higher on these roads and people tend to drive much faster. This makes every little mistake extremely dangerous for driver safety.
Remote Rural Areas
If you are driving in a remote rural county and get into an accident, the response time for emergency services could be very delayed. Though the ambulance load may be lighter in terms of how many injuries happen in rural communities, the distance from an ambulance could be what causes a fatality in rural areas.
There are far more animals that may lead to a car accident in rural areas compared to urban areas. Anything from squirrels to deer to larger animals is far more common on rural roads and can lead to fatal crashes. Rural drivers have this extra obstacle to deal with.
For the most part, many rural areas lack sufficient street lights to maintain early visibility, forcing rural drivers to rely on their headlights to see at night. Urban areas may not have to deal with this issue because of how well-lit they generally are at night.
Urban Motor Vehicle Crashes
Urban crashes will look much different than the average collision in rural regions for several reasons.
Lower Speed Limit
In cities, the speed limit is usually much lower than it is on rural roads. With lower speed limits comes less force when car accidents occur. For this reason, many urban area collisions have fewer fatal injuries and a lower crash injury rate.
The capacity for car accidents in urban areas is very high because of the sheer volume of motorists on the road. Many streets will have multiple lanes, numerous intersections, and bumper-to-bumper traffic, making minor car accidents happen frequently.
Nearby Emergency Services
Another advantage that urban areas have over rural areas is their distance from emergency services. Though ambulances may have a harder time traversing heavy traffic, they are much closer when car crashes occur.
In cities, interstates can be extremely busy, making highway injury accidents very common. While rural interstate fatalities may be higher because of average speeds, urban areas have a greater traffic density and more on/off-ramps to deal with.
Between Rural and Urban Areas, Which Has More Car Accidents?
Because of the traffic volume in urban environments, these regions tend to have far more car crashes than rural areas. Motor vehicle traffic accidents happen every day in cities, whether they are minor fender-benders, side-swipes, or other types of accidents. Though motor vehicle crash fatalities will occur in urban environments, the number that matters is the rate of motor vehicle fatalities or severe injuries.
In terms of which location is more dangerous for drivers, you could easily make the argument that rural roads are far riskier for the drivers involved. The rate of motor vehicle deaths per accident is significantly higher in rural areas. Although there are plenty of accidents in both urban and rural areas, traffic fatalities occur at a much higher rate in rural areas.
It Depends on How You Define Danger
If you consider a higher possibility of getting into a car accident to be the more dangerous scenario, then urban areas are the greater risk for you. However, if you are more concerned with the rate of traffic fatalities per accident, then rural areas are going to be riskier.
In every environment, there are significant risk factors for motor vehicles. Drunk driving is still a huge issue in every area. Seat belt use is something that many drivers and passengers ignore. Not everyone follows the posted speed limit and this will create dangerous conditions for others. There are also social risk factors that play a role in driver risks.
In terms of the numbers, more accidents will happen on urban roads. But when it comes to injury fatality rate and crash severity in rural versus urban regions, rural areas come out on top according to the statistics.
What to do After a Car Accident
When you get into a car accident in rural or urban areas, reaching out to a car accident or personal injury lawyer is very important. The claims process after rural and urban crashes is very complex, and you’ll need a dedicated legal professional by your side to navigate the details.
Call Mitch Grissim & Associates
The attorneys at our law firm have served many clients after they have faced motor vehicle injuries or fatalities. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case with you and decide how you can move forward with your claim to pursue compensation for damages.
Call 615-255-9999 to get your free consultation today and let the car accident experts advise you on your situation.