Phoenix car accidents a common danger — but motorists could be at increased risk in Arizona’s rural areas

While Phoenix car accidents account for a large portion of the state’s serious and fatal traffic crashes, rural motorists could be at greater risk than they realize, according to a report published by USA Today.

Nationwide, more than half of all fatal traffic accidents occur in rural areas, despite the fact that fewer than one-fourth of Americans live outside urban cities, according to a study by the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota.
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Part of the reason may be a false sense of security felt by rural drivers, which increases the chances of drinking and driving, distracted driving and other unsafe driving practices. Eighty-four percent of respondents reported feeling “safe” on rural interstates, compare to 79 percent on rural two-lane highways and 69 percent on urban freeways.

“People seem to feel more comfortable on those roads, even though the facts show that it’s more dangerous,” says Lee Munnich, director of the center. “They feel more relaxed and, as a result, they are engaging in behavior that is riskier.”

The only exception was for speeders, who said they felt safer on large urban freeways than on rural highways.

Single-vehicle crashes are also more prevalent on rural roads, where drivers are more likely to crash into trees, utility polls or other stationary objects. Safety advocates think the study reveals over confidence and a fallacy in the way people perceive risk.

“The more people perceive they have control, the less they perceive a situation as being risky,” said Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The transportation community has tended to underemphasize rural road safety — there’s a long history of underinvestment in rural road safety in this country.”

If you have been injured in an Arizona car accident, contact the Phoenix injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.