Rural Highways are More Dangerous...

November 30, 2012
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Rural highways are more likely to kill motorists than urban roads, yet Americans feel much more relaxed and prone to risk taking on rural roads.???  About 21 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but the Federal Highway Administration has found that 57 percent of highway deaths occur on rural roads.

However, 69 percent of those surveyed said that they felt safe on multilane freeways in urban areas, while 79 percent felt safe on two-lane highways in rural areas. Thirty-eight percent responded that they felt relaxed on rural highways, and just 19 percent felt relaxed on urban freeways. Among rural residents, 69 percent felt relaxed on rural highways, vs. just 13 percent who felt relaxed on urban freeways.

Drivers are more likely to feel safe eating, using cell phones, and drinking and driving on rural highways than on urban freeways. Among rural residents, 44 percent said they feel safe using a cell phone on a rural highway vs. 14 percent who feel safe using a phone on an urban freeway. Survey respondents who felt safer on rural highways than urban freeways were asked why they felt this way. The most common answer (51 percent) was that there were fewer things on the road to worry about-less traffic, less congestion, and fewer people. The second most common answer (31 percent) was that the driver knew the area and felt more comfortable.

- Ibid 08.16.10.p4