Most people think of rural roads as quiet, scenic, laid-back routes and city roads as the more dangerous commuting option, but is this really the truth? Are urban roads or rural roads more dangerous? Let’s look at the hazards of each to determine which roads are genuinely the most hazardous.
Urban Road Risks
The most obvious danger that urban roads present is overcrowding. Traffic is not uncommon in highly populated cities, which makes navigating your commute more stressful and puts drivers at greater risk of a vehicle collision.
Cyclists and Pedestrians
Driving in an urban area presents a danger of cyclists and pedestrians who will also be navigating the roads. Not only does this make the streets even more congested, but it also means drivers need to stay more alert to avoid hitting a jaywalking pedestrian or a cyclist that veers into their lane.
More Unique Road Patterns
Most rural roads go long stretches without a stop sign or traffic light in sight. However, urban roads have frequent traffic stops, roundabouts, one-way streets, and many different road patterns that demand close attention to detail from drivers.
Rural Road Risks
Rural roads tend to be smaller two-lane roads with narrow shoulders. They are also more likely to be winding and hilly. These road conditions can be challenging for drivers to quickly adapt to and give drivers less space to overcorrect an error.
The benefit of traffic in urban areas is that it can provide some speed control. On rural roads where all that’s ahead of the driver is the open road, it can be easy to travel at unsafe speeds without even realizing it. Unfortunately, with the combination of winding and narrow road conditions, this can have deadly results.
Studies show that rural drivers are far less likely to wear their seatbelts during their commutes. Combining this statistic with the dangerous road and speed conditions, drivers place themselves at a greater risk of sustaining an injury when driving recklessly on a rural road.
Another important aspect of deciding whether urban or rural roads are more dangerous is how quickly drivers can get help. In larger cities, drivers in accidents can receive help quicker due to the likelihood of others being present to report the accident and the proximity of emergency services. In rural areas, however, receiving help may take longer.
Urban and rural roads both present dangerous driving conditions. While driving in the city is still dangerous, driving cautiously and following the essential tips for city driving can help prevent common hazards. Rural roads are some of the most dangerous roads to drive on due to their road conditions, the driving habits of rural drivers, and greater distance to emergency services if and when a crash occurs.
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