What's the deal with rural roads?
When we look at traffic safety data, the research tells us that most collisions happen on urban routes, but the most deadly collisions are most likely to happen on rural roads. Transport Canada reports that two-thirds of all “deadly [collisions] happen on rural roads, in the country, where speed limits are faster and the roads aren't as well-lit as they are inside the city.” The most common type of collisions on rural roads are single-vehicle, intersection and head-on.
Rural roads generally have less congestion than their urban or suburban counterparts, but there are still ample risks to drivers as well as their passengers. If you are travelling on a rural route, there is a strong chance it is at a higher speed, and for longer distances. This increases the likelihood of fatigue, inattention, and distraction – all contributing factors for collisions.
If there is a collision in a rural area, victims are farther from urgent care – a reality that can make a big difference in terms of injury severity.
Rural roads may pose more hazards, but many of the risks can be mitigated with a few simple proactive actions. Take a look at what you can do to stay safe when cruising down the country road.
Because you may be travelling longer and faster on rural routes, it is important to stay attentive to changing weather conditions. This can include black ice, high winds, or precipitation that comes on suddenly. The dynamics of a road may change as well – going from tree-lined to open roadways, bringing forcible winds. Anticipate the changes before they happen, and stay alert.