Americans are driving less since the recession and higher gas prices and this is one reason that there are fewer car accident fatalities. However, a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study also attributes the decrease in a disproportional decrease in rural driving and leisure driving.
Michael Sivak, the head of the UMTRI’s Human Factors Division says:
Rural driving is more risky than urban driving primarily because of high speeds, but there is evidence that it has recently decreased more substantially than urban driving. Analogously, leisure driving is more risky than commuter driving because of higher speeds, greater involvement of alcohol and more nighttime driving, but we are more likely to reduce leisure driving, if needed, than commuter driving.
Sivak used data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which covered a period between January 2007 to December 2008. He attributes the drop in rural driving to the fact that people in rural areas tend to be less-affluent and thus the cost of gasoline effects them more. The price of gasoline would also cause the leisure or recreational driver to cut back on driving before a commuter driver.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured and the families of those killed in car accidents.