Rural and Urban Driving: Different Conditions, Different Risk
Roadway risks are a part of daily life, and depending on where you live, these dangers present themselves in different ways. Oftentimes it’s believed that urban driving is more dangerous due to the abundance of people and vehicles, but statistics show that most fatal accidents tend to occur in rural locations.
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, understanding the risks existing in each area is the key to identifying and avoiding said risks when possible. With different roadway conditions comes different dangers, and keeping an eye out can help you reduce your risk of an automotive incident. Here are some ways that rural and urban areas pose different hazards for drivers:
Risks in Rural Areas:
High Speeds on Country Roads
Driving in the city is generally characterized by high levels of traffic congestion, which leads to lower driving speeds. However, if you live in a rural area, the wide and open roads give you more opportunity to increase your speed, which consequently up the chances of getting into an accident. This is a common reason why rural areas have had such high car crash rates, as less traffic tends to cause people to drive faster.
Blind Curves Present Dangers
When driving in rural areas, there is a good chance you’ll have to maneuver your way through various twists and turns. Whereas cities don’t face this hazard, these curves can present significant dangers to unaware rural drivers. Underestimating the turn or not noticing it ahead of time can greatly increase your chances of getting into an accident.
Obstacles on the Road
Another major risk when driving on rural roads is the possibility of obstacles such as fallen debris or unkempt streets. In urban areas major blockages are often tended to quickly to allow drivers to continue on their way. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with rural roads. Since it takes more time for these obstacles to be cleared in lesser-populated areas, drivers should always remain wary to the potential of objects obstructing their way.
Risks in Urban Areas:
Heavy Traffic Congestion
City streets are often filled to the brim with car traffic, especially in the mornings and afternoons when people commute the most. These congested circumstances can lead to minor accidents for urban drivers, especially if they aren’t paying attention. Although not as bad as a major crash, the significance of that fender bender will present itself the next time you need to compare car insurance rates.
Pedestrians & Bikers Are Abundant
Another risk that exists in urban roadways is the prevalence of pedestrians and bikers on the road. In 2015, about 70 percent of pedestrian casualties from car crashes happened in urban areas, as well as 60 percent of total bicyclist fatalities. With the majority of these accidents occurring in more populated areas, city drivers must remain extra vigilant for any potential individuals crossing the street or using bike lanes. Remember, you need to share the road!
Nobody likes being stuck at red lights. When the light turns yellow, many drivers will try to beat the clock and speed their way through the intersection. With cars coming from all directions, especially in urban areas, these stunts greatly increase the risk of intersection crashes. It is vital for urban drivers to be realistic and cautious when the light turns yellow, and keep in mind that getting into an accident isn’t worth the extra minute or two of waiting time.
The differences between urban and rural driving are vast, and each comes with a set of specific guidelines and dangers. Regardless of where you live, understanding the dangers and obstacles that exist in your area is crucial in reducing the risk of an accident. Having knowledge of these factors will keep you prepared, no matter where your commute may take you.