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Rural and urban accidents are often very different

People often feel like driving in the city is chaotic and difficult, while they think driving in the country is simple and easy. But does that mean driving in rural areas is safer than driving in urban areas?

It does not. In fact, over 50 percent of deadly accidents take place in rural areas. Urban settings may be highly populated and confusing, but they don’t result in nearly as many deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Even more telling is the fact that a mere 19 percent of people from the United States reside in these rural settings. A full 70 percent of vehicle miles are driven in urban areas, compared to a mere 30 percent in rural areas.

In other words, the cities have far, far more vehicles. People cover far more ground. It’s not even close. If fatality rates were just even, there would be far more deaths in the city. But they’re not even. They’re skewed so heavily to the country that more people pass away there, despite representing a small fraction of total drivers and total vehicle miles driven. Clearly, the country appears to be more dangerous.

Why is this? A big reason is speed. A lot of accidents in New York City take place at slow enough speeds that no one is killed, while far more country roads allow people to drive 55 miles per hour or more. Even with fewer cars and fewer drivers, these accidents are massively more likely to result in a fatality.

No matter where you were driving when you were involved in an accident, if you were hurt or a loved one was killed, be sure you know your legal rights to compensation.

Source: IIHS, “Urban/rural comparison | 2015,” accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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