Rural vs. Urban Driving: Is There a Difference?

While the scenery may be nicer to look at in the country as opposed to the city, is this rural area really a safer place to drive than a more congested urban one? Is driving down a winding country road keeping us safer than navigating a high-risk traffic zone in downtown, as is typically presumed? And, if this is true, then how safe is that hours-long road trip—since few are jumping on planes since the coronavirus pandemic began?

City vs. Country

There can be significant differences between driving in urban areas versus driving in suburban areas. For one, city and country roads are quite different when it comes to traffic density, the number of cyclists, the number of pedestrians, and the number of large trucks with which you have to share the road with. Bicyclist and pedestrian deaths are significantly higher in urban rather than rural areas. Conversely, passenger and large truck accident-related deaths happen at higher rates in rural areas than urban ones. Another surprising fact is that country roads are statistically more dangerous than city roads per mile driven. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) research shows that despite only 19% of the population living in rural areas and only 30% of the miles traveled in vehicles happen on country roads, nearly half of all car accident-related deaths occur in rural areas.

Ways to Stay Safe

There are several things you can do while driving on country roads to keep yourself, your loved ones, and others on the road safe from preventable car accidents. Specifically:

  • Remain Focused: There are several distractions each time we are behind the wheel. This includes the phone ringing, songs coming on the radio, interesting billboards, loud passengers, among other issues. Studies show that nearly 80% of all car accidents are due to some type of distraction that occurred a few seconds before the crash. The best way to be safe is to pay attention to the road.
  • Stay Sober: Taking any type of substance—legal or not—can significantly affect your ability to react to your surroundings while on the road. This will make you a poor driver and place yourself and others in danger. Even over-the-counter medication can negatively impact your driving abilities.
  • Be Cautious: Although it is true that most drivers on U.S. roads are safe, it is also true that everyone makes mistakes. If you pay attention to the behavior of other drivers, you can predict their actions and leave additional time and room for you to react.
  • Be Prepared: No one expects to be involved in a car accident when they wake up in the morning, however, accidents do happen. Make sure your car’s safety features are maintained including having good brakes, working headlights, functional windshield wipers, as well as having airbags and seatbelts.

Our Attorneys can Help

Even if you take all the above precautions, you may still be involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, Henderson, or somewhere else in Nevada. Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at H&P Law today. We will fight for the best outcome for your case. 

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