Many Oklahoman drivers often debate whether it is more dangerous to drive in the cities or to stay on rural roads. City streets have more direct routes to some of the more popular destinations of the state, but rural roads have less traffic to deal with. Rural highways might offer more leeway to many impatient drivers, but is there too much freedom on the roads?
The 2017 crash facts presented by Oklahoma’s Highway Safety Office reveal how many crashes occurred on different streets throughout the state. The numbers in this report can help drivers understand the risks both types of roads have and how they can prepare themselves when they plan on going through either route.
Urban roads have more crashes
When it came to the total crash amount, there were far more crashes on urban roads in Oklahoma during 2017 than on rural roads. Out of the 71,415 total crashes that occurred in the state, 77 percent of them happened on city streets, urban U.S. highways and urban state highways.
Since far more people use these streets, it doesn’t come as a shock that urban roads see far more crashes on an annual basis than rural roads. Driving with more people means you have a higher chance of being alongside inexperienced teenagers, sleep-deprived workers, drunk motorists and distracted drivers. Maintaining your distance and paying attention to questionable driving behavior in front and behind you is the key towards having a safe drive home or to work.
Rural roads have more fatalities
Even though there were significantly less crashes on rural roads, 63 percent of 2017’s crash fatalities occurred on rural highways. While there were more incapacitations on urban roads, they only amounted to 2 percent of the total crashes in comparison to the 6 percent on rural roads.
Since rural roads have less guardrails, signs, road maintenance and police officers, drivers that crash here are more likely to suffer devastating injuries or even worse. Many drivers here often overestimate the amount of leeway they have on these roads and have a higher chance of hitting something at an incredibly high speed or drifting off the road entirely. The traffic on urban highways can be annoying, but it can also help you stay alert.
There are several factors you need to consider before choosing which path to take to your destination, but knowing how many people suffer and in what way may help you make your decision. If an Oklahoman driver hits you no matter how many precautions you took, make sure you know what legal help is available to you to aid in your recovery.