Geographical Factors Affecting Car accidents

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 There are more fatal accidents on rural roads than on urban ones, although more road accidents occur in urban areas than in the country.

Road accident statistics – rural v urban

According to safety charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), this is because drivers tend to think that rural roads are safer because they are quieter, forgetting the many unseen hazards that muddy, windy and narrow rural roads can present.

The same organisation reports that in 2014 there were 982 fatal accidents on rural roads compared to 591 on urban roads.

Urban roads give rise to a greater number of serious and minor personal injuries; in 2014 there were 94,701 serious and minor injuries sustained on the UK’s urban roads, compared to 44,418 on its rural roads.

Additional factors

Speed limits on rural roads are also higher than in most urban areas, meaning that crashes are likely to take place at a higher speed and are therefore more likely to result in serious and fatal injury.

Other common causes of car accidents on rural roads include failure to look (34% of fatal crashes), loss of control (38% of fatal crashes) and travelling too fast for the conditions (14% of fatal accidents).

Factors that may also increase the risk of having an accident include:

Geographical factors such as these are often important in road traffic accidents in Scotland, because so much of Scotland, particularly the Highlands, is still reliant on minor – often single-track – roads, or on roads that are too winding to have good visibility when overtaking.

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