Rural Roads May Lead to Risk-taking

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 4 (UPI) — American are willing to take more risks on U.S. rural highways than on urban freeways, leading to a higher death toll on such roads, researchers say.

In a survey by University of Minnesota researchers, drivers said they were more relaxed on rural roads and more prone to risk-taking there, a university release said Wednesday.

“Americans are taking unnecessary risks on rural roads,” Lee Munnich of UM’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety said. “They’re more relaxed and comfortable with risk-taking on the roads where they are most likely to be killed. We have a lot of education to do.”

While U.S. Census figures show one out of five Americans live in rural areas, the Federal Highway Administration says about six out of 10 highway deaths occur on roads that it considers rural.

“Logic would dictate that drivers would be most cautious and alert on the most dangerous roads, but Americans seem to be lulled into a false sense of security on our tranquil rural highways,” said Munnich. “It’s a less chaotic experience, so it apparently feels like a safer experience. This is a myth we have to bust.”

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