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Published on Feb 09, 2011 by Edgar Snyder

Are Urban Roads Safer Than Rural Ones?

unsafe rural roads

Where you live greatly affects your chances of dying in a car accident, according to recent federal data. The numbers, based on fatalities per 100,000 population and per 100 million miles driven, suggest that urban roads are safer than their rural counterparts.

It was found that the safest places to drive in the United States are Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts. Among the most dangerous are Montana, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Even in states that have low overall traffic fatalities, rural areas often have twice as many deaths as urban ones. Experts say there are several reasons for this, including: lower speed limits in urban areas, faster access to emergency medical care, and more safety features like divided highways.

Many traffic safety groups say that such comparisons don't really evaluate how safe a state's roads are. They feel that a better measuring tool is whether or not states have enacted safety regulations like motorcycle helmet laws and primary seat belt laws.

"Roads are safer in urban areas." USA Today. January 25, 2011.
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