You try to avoid driving into Atlanta, but you cannot always do it. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and drive in the city.
Every time you do, it feels chaotic and dangerous. The roads are huge, but they’re packed with cars. At rush hour, you can barely move. You have walkers and cyclists at intersections and jaywalking. You see police cars constantly. One-way streets force you into turns you don’t want to take. Drivers constantly honk their horns, run red lights and text while they’re driving.
In short, it feels far more dangerous to drive in the city than on the open, peaceful rural roads that you’re used to. But is it?
It depends how you look at it. With higher numbers of cars, bikes and pedestrians, urban areas do tend to see a high amount of crashes. One mistake could involve three or four cars. You feel like it’s chaotic, and you are not wrong. That chaos leads to crashes.
By comparison, the rural roads feel calm and easy to navigate, but the problem is that the speed limits tend to be far higher. Even minor roads allow you to go 55 miles per hour. The interstate increases the maximum speed dramatically. Plus, people often break the posted limit. Driving five miles per hour over the limit in the city may mean going just 30 MPH, whereas driving 5 MPH over on a country road means going 60 MPH.
As a result, rural accidents tend to be more serious than accidents in the city. So, while more people may crash in Atlanta, a lot of them get out of it with minor injuries or none at all. On country roads, though you may have fewer accidents, the odds are far higher that those accidents will lead to serious injuries and fatalities.
Speeding and distance
In particular, speeding is a huge factor. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 16,710 traffic fatalities on rural roads in a single calendar year. Roughly one third of them (29 percent) were linked to excessive speed.
Another factor is the distance between an accident and the nearest emergency response vehicles. In the city, an ambulance may get to an accident site in a few minutes. In the country, it could take a half an hour. Remote accidents increase the odds of a fatality as people simply do not get medical assistance quickly enough for what could have been survivable injuries.
If you get hurt in an auto accident, whether it happens on the familiar country roads or the packed streets of the city, make sure you know what legal options you have to seek compensation.