For many first-time drivers, the interstate feels like the most dangerous and chaotic place to drive. From the very moment that they descend the on-ramp and try to merge into traffic, they feel like they’re about to get in a car accident.
But is this actually true? Is the interstate more dangerous, and are they at higher risk when driving on it? You may be surprised by what the statistics show.
Interstates are actually much safer
The truth is that the interstate is one of the safest places you can drive, and it’s statistically much safer than other roads. Some experts who have studied this call it the “irony of road fear.” People are most afraid of the roads that are actually the safest, while they feel the safest on the roads with the highest chances of an accident.
Why is the interstate so safe? It’s all about control. On the interstate, traffic is controlled strictly. It moves in the same direction, at roughly the same speed, and almost nothing unexpected happens. Yes, that speed is higher than on more minor roads, but that still doesn’t outweigh this element of control.
On smaller roads, there is much more happening at any given moment. People are hitting their brakes to turn, pedestrians are crossing the street, there are stop signs and red lights, traffic is moving in all sorts of directions, and there are multiple speed limits. All of this increases the odds of an accident, and you need to make sure you know your rights to compensation if you get injured.