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What is more dangerous? Rural or urban roads?

Cleveland combines the convenience of a city with easy access to open space and nature. So if you drive, you will spend your time on a mixture of urban and rural streets.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2019 figures found that 45% of fatal traffic crashes occurred on rural roads. Does that mean it is safer than urban driving? Not necessarily.

Far more miles are driven in cities and towns than on rural roads because only 19% of the U.S. population lives rurally. Rural roads only see 30% of the miles driven but witness 45% of fatal crashes, making them the most dangerous.

What makes rural driving so risky?

Here are some things to consider:

  • Speed: Urban crashes are often of less consequence because it can be hard to get up much speed due to speed limits and the amount of traffic.
  • Wandering animals: If a small family dog runs across your path in town, it is unlikely to injure you and can probably escape by flattening itself under the car. You will both get hurt if a deer steps out of the trees. Drivers know that, so they are more likely to take drastic action to avoid a deer making it more likely they go off the road or hit an oncoming vehicle.
  • Less artificial light: You might struggle to see the stars in town, but at least you can see the road thanks to the streetlights and illumination from buildings.

If you crash, the procedure will be the same no matter where it occurred. You’ll need help to show the other driver was to blame and get the compensation you need.