If you were asked to guess which type of roadways—rural or urban—were more dangerous, you’d pick urban roadways, right? More people + more vehicles = more accidents. However, the statistics tell a different story.

According to data from 2012 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 19 percent of the population lived in rural areas, but fatalities in rural areas accounted for 54 percent—over half—of all fatalities. We are constantly on the go at Tucker Paving, and both rural and urban roadways are a part of our business. Explore why fatalities are so high on rural and local roads, rather than urban roads or highways, and what behaviors to avoid to ensure you don’t add to the statistics.

Why Fatalities on Local and Rural Roads are so High

Officials believe that people engage in more risky behaviors on rural and local roads due to the misconceptions that rural and local roads don’t require the level of care and safety while driving that urban roads and highways require. Unfortunately, these misconceptions lead drivers to operate their vehicles in an unsafe manner, and it leads to a higher percentage of vehicle fatalities.

Staying safe on country and local roads includes:

  1. Wearing safety belts. Seat belts save lives, and all occupants of a vehicle should wear them no matter where in the vehicle they are sitting or on what type of road the vehicle is driving.
  2. Slow down. Rural and local roads have speed limits that are set for safety reasons. Driving at excessive speeds on any roadway increases the chances of an accident.
  3. Don’t give in to road rage. Road rage leads to poor choices while driving, and the consequences are never worth it.
  4. Don’t drive while impaired. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and illegal on any roadway. Calling a friend or a taxi when your driving abilities are too impaired could save your life and those of others out on the road.
  5. Don’t drive distracted. Distracted driving is causing so many accidents that many states, counties, and other municipalities are cracking down with harsh penalties. Put down your cellphone and make sure you aren’t being distracted by passengers, food, or other features of the vehicle.

Driving is an important component of what we do at Tucker Paving. We utilize many different trucks in the course of paving and resurfacing, and all manner of vehicles utilize the roads, parking lots, and drives we construct. Safety is our leading concern, even after our job is done.