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All Roads are Not Created Equal: Tips for Rural vs. Urban Driving

Nancy Dunham

Many drivers believe their behind-the-wheel skills smoothly shift between rural and urban driving.  Your driver’s license and years of behind-the-wheel experience have prepared you to face the difficulties of any road—in theory. But, driving on city roads offers very different challenges compared to driving on country roads, as urban and rural areas differ on a number of factors. For example, city roads may be well-maintained but are often congested with vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and other obstacles, whereas country roads may be poorly maintained and very isolated.

You don’t necessarily need to take a driving course to get ready. Edmunds’ Automotive Editor Mark Takahashi advises that a back-to-basics approach can help you on both rural and urban roads.

Rural Vs. Urban Driving Statistics

First, look at the U.S. population trend. Between 2007 and 2016 those living in urban areas increased 12.7 percent. During the same time, there was an 11.8 percent decrease in those living in rural areas, reported the U.S. Census Bureau.

The number of fatal crashes in those areas shows urban crash fatalities – including those that include motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles — have skyrocketed. Since 2008 the number of urban crash fatalities increased by 17.4 percent. The number of rural casualties declined by 18.0 percent, during the same period.

The number of urban fatalities was larger than the number of rural fatalities in 2016 and 2017. In 2015 and earlier, rural casualties were larger than urban fatalities. Read More

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