Where Are Auto Accidents More Common: Rural or Urban Areas?


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), however, has published statistics that show that more traffic-related fatalities and injuries occur on rural roads.

High Rate of Traffic Accidents in Rural Areas

The 2010 United States Census data shows that 19% of Americans lived in “rural” areas. This is despite the fact that the majority of traffic fatalities in America occur in these areas. 18,170 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on rural roads in 2012, compared to the 15,296 urban traffic fatalities. Contrary to popular belief, rural drivers are more at risk of serious and life-threatening injuries from auto accidents than urban motorists.

Common Causes for Rural Accidents

These are the top causes of fatalities in rural areas.


Posted speed limits on rural roads are usually higher, at 55 miles per hour or more, even if it’s a two-lane highway. Curves and intersections can become dangerous due to this. Rural roads also tend to have a lower level of law enforcement presence. Drivers are more likely to speed on rural roads than they are on urban roads.

Roads That Are Dangerous

Rural roads are more likely to become disused due to poor maintenance. This can lead to dangerous cracks and potholes. Rural roads are often not equipped with a shoulder to pull off from the main road. This can lead to vehicles being stopped in dangerous areas.

Driving and Alcohol Use

Rural areas are often more affected by this crime than urban ones. There are no public transportation options for impaired drivers, such as subways or taxicabs. In rural areas, it is often difficult to find a designated driver due to the distance between towns and homes. Drunk driving is a common problem and can lead to serious accidents.

No Seat Belt

Statistics show that rural drivers are less likely to use safety restraints, or wear seat belts than those in urban areas. In the event of a collision, this can lead to more severe injuries.

This post was written by Kelly-Ann Jenkins of Jenkins Law P.L. Kelly-Ann is a car accident lawyer in St Petersburg. She focuses on personal injury, car accidents, and bicyclist injury. The information on this site is not intended to and does not offer legal advice, legal recommendations, or legal representation on any matter. Hiring an attorney is an important decision, which should not be based on advertising. You need to consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation.

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