Illinois residents deserve to stay safe while on the state’s roads. Although city roads have statistically been safer than rural ones, a study recently found that the opposite is now true. This is what the study has revealed.
Road fatalities increase in cities
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, car accidents occurring on city streets now account for more fatalities than those on rural roads. Over a decade’s time, city roads saw 34% of crash fatalities, exceeding the number of deaths in rural areas, which stood at 10%. The reason behind this trend is that city roads are busier and have more of a mix of vehicle types: cars, trucks and other larger vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Speeding is another major factor and increases the risk of accidents by a large margin.
Significance of the changes
According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 70% of public roads are rural. This is why the shift in cities accounting for more fatal motor vehicle accidents is significant. Reckless driving tactics like drag racing are primarily done on urban roads compared with rural areas.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that close to 10,000 people lost their lives in car crashes in the first quarter of 2022 alone. This marks a 7% increase compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Overall, fatal accidents stemming from speeding increased by 5% from 2021 to 2022.
Surprisingly, the AAA’s data noted that around half of all fatal crashes only involved speeds ranging from 35 miles per hour or even lower. Most victims were young male adults and vehicles were traveling at speeds under 25 miles per hour. Pedestrians and bicyclists made up 29% of the deaths.
Many accidents on city roads were made even deadlier by the fact that some drivers failed to adjust their speed to accommodate weather conditions.