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The Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota has released a report that most people feel safer on rural roads. By a giant percentage of 79%, country roads are believed to be the safest . Unfortunately, safety may come with the dropping of usual defensive driving thoughts. Instead, there is a return to the classic dangers:

  • Speed
  • Drinking
  • No Seat belts

I’ve discussed before the findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that 56 percent of the 37,261 traffic deaths in the United States last year occurred on rural roads, though only about 23 percent of the population lives in rural areas.

The Payson Roundup also makes the point that:

The researchers concluded that drivers underestimate the risks of driving on roadways with curves, narrow shoulders and no guardrails and perhaps take extra risks like using their cell phones while driving

This is an important point, when you consider the number of head-ons and collisions off the road on rural roads with less signage and safer protections.

With any death in a Minnesota motor vehicle collision, there are many issues that will need to be reviewed. My partner, Joe Crumley, addressed this topic in a recent article for the Minnesota Lawyers Trial magazine. I was interviewed last year on the same topic. Hopefully, with the study and the resulting suggested changes the future numbers for these deaths will go down.

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