Daniel DeMay of SeattlePI reports that teens in King Country are less deadly and dangerous drivers than teens in rural areas. This claim is backed by crash data collected by Washington State Department of Transportation between 2013 and 2017 and interpreted by Davis Law Group. For example: 19.2 percent of teen drivers in Asotin County—which has a population of 22,000, and is in the southeast corner of Washington (it shares a border with another remote county in Idaho)—were involved in serious and deadly accidents. It was 9 percent for teens in King Country, which has a population of 2.2 million.
But what's really interesting (or telling) about this story is that the finding surprised its writer, DeMay. For reasons that are explainable, he thought that the streets in a big and dense city would be more dangerous for teens because of all the distractions and confusions of the concrete jungle. What his surprise exposed is America's deep-seeded hatred of the city.
If Americans were socially engineered to see the real advantages of a city, it would have been as obvious as the day why rural roads are not a paradise of safety, why so many ghosts haunt them. Any one who has visited a small town in Eastern Washington soon learns from talkative locals of these ghosts. Young and old, they are found at the bends. They hit this, they crashed into that, they lost the wheel at some ungodly hour. The ghosts are also numerous in suburbs.
Because we live in a culture that's shaped by the automobile industry, the PI writer, like many Americans, projected the rural ideal (low crime, you can leave your doors unlocked, everybody knows your name) on rural roads; and the urban nightmare (density, strangers, seeming disorder) on city streets. But lift the ideal or wake from the nightmare, and the truth is exactly where you would expect it to be.