When you drive, it’s very clear that your safety is always being influenced by things that are outside of your control. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the fact that other drivers can cause accidents that injure you, even when you don’t make any mistakes and you drive perfectly. People sometimes trust that “being a good driver” will keep them safe, but that’s not always true.
One issue to consider is how the road design itself can have an impact on your accident odds, along with the severity of your injuries. Let’s look at a few ways that this works.
Rural roads are more dangerous
To begin with, consider the fact that a rural road is going to be more dangerous than a city street. When you look at the statistics, fatal accidents are more likely. This is true despite the fact that there are far fewer cars on these rural roads and that the design is much simpler.
But the risk doesn’t come from traffic congestion. It comes from the fact that rural accidents are farther from hospitals, leading to delays in treatment. They also tend to have higher speed limits, which can make injuries more severe. Additionally, drunk driving is more common, and seatbelt use is less common.
Interstates are the safest
On the other side of the spectrum, you have the interstate highway system. Many new drivers find this frightening and stressful because of the high speeds, but the interstate is statistically one of the safest places you can drive.
The reason for this is that car accidents are just far less common. Traffic is all moving in the same direction, so head-on crashes are almost unheard of. Additionally, entering and exiting traffic is controlled by a ramp system, so there are far fewer chances for someone to cut off another driver. This level of control makes interstates safer, despite their high speed limits.
Have you been injured?
The road that you drive on can play a role in your safety, but it’s also true that you can be involved in an accident caused by another driver almost anywhere. If you suffer injuries in such an accident, be sure you know what legal steps to take.