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07/26

That Calm, Peaceful Country Road – Which Is Statistically More Dangerous Than Downtown

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

country roadAll of us who drive have found ourselves navigating our way through large cities and enduring the stress that comes with heavy traffic, blaring horns and seeing numerous unexpected maneuvers from other motorists.  We have also found ourselves at peace while behind the wheel as we wound our way down a quiet, traffic-free country road.  Such an environment has allowed us to take a breath, to take in the landscape and to enjoy our trip.  That’s most likely because we do not sense the same level of danger here that we would in heavy urban traffic.

As it turns out, our instincts are incorrect in assuming the level of danger for driving is lessened on a country road versus driving in a metropolitan area. According to the results of a recent study, driving in rural environments is more dangerous than driving in cities.  While this is the opposite of what most people would guess or assume, the statistics were provided by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The study was published in recent days in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, and a link to the full text can be found here.  The study was a statistical comparison of all fatal injuries suffered in the United States and where they occur, but given that car accidents are and always have been one of the leading causes of fatal injuries along with gun violence it was one of the main categories that was analyzed.  When looking specifically at fatal injuries that were caused by crashes, the risk of losing a life in this manner is twice as high in rural areas as compared to large cities.

There are many reasons for this finding, including the facts that:

  • Urban drivers tend to take shorter trips.
  • People in cities can make use of public transportation.
  • People tend to drive faster on rural roads with no traffic.

There are other differences that could lead to this surprising finding, but the study concludes that people behind the wheel are safer when moving through a large city than when they are making their way through the countryside.

While it may seem to be an unexpected reality that driving in rural areas is more dangerous, one should also consider the fact that depending on where a particular car accident occurs, people who are badly injured may have to wait much longer for rescue personnel to arrive.  This alone can make the difference between life and death, as every second matters when someone is fighting to survive a violent car accident.

What this study should tell anyone who sees it is that while there is still risk in driving in an urban environment, no one should simply relax and assume nothing can go wrong when driving in rural areas.  If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver in either setting, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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