Accidents Are Common on Rural Roads
Metropolitan areas present a unique terrain for American drivers. It is typical to expect congestion and traffic accidents when the terrain of a city is riddled by an enormous number of drivers, complex intersections, multilane roads, and other inconveniences of city life. These dangerous create a serious misconception for many drivers. Even though the number of collisions may be higher in urban areas, there are more deadly accidents each year on rural roads. All too often drivers carelessly endanger themselves by overlooking the unforeseen hazards such as blind bends and animal crossings that are unique features of rural terrains.
How Dangerous are Rural Roads?
Statistics suggest that rural roads based on the number of fatal accidents are in fact more dangerous than urban roads. For instance, only 23 percent of the nation’s population lives in rural America which is disproportional to the over 56 percent of the nation’s total traffic fatalities that occur in rural areas.1 Even though urban drivers travel more miles each day, rural drivers die in auto accidents at a rate 2.5 percent higher per mile.2 Though some states are more likely to yield rural accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that countrywide 6 out of 10 highway deaths occur on rural roads.
Why are Rural Roads More Dangerous?
When people think of rural roadways the image that comes to mind is often very picturesque. The reality is that there are a number of behavioral and environmental reasons why rural roads tend to be more dangerous. Drivers may be unfamiliar with rural roads, but often they have a false sense of security which results in drivers possessing behavioral traits that make a huge impact on the safety of rural roads. It is a common belief that the remoteness of country roads means a decreased presence of police officer which in turn increases the likelihood that people will speed.3 The misconception that rural roads having fewer drivers means there is less dangers often increases the number of drivers who do not wear their seat belt.4 There are also environmental causes behind why rural road accidents occur. In remote areas animals are a huge contributing factor behind many crashes.5 It is common for wild animals such as deer to dash into oncoming traffic and unsuspecting drivers often overcompensate when trying not to collide with the animal and in fact cause a collision. Other environmental issues coinciding with rural road accidents include lack of lighting, loose debris, obstructions to visibility caused by tall fields, and winding or bending road design.6
How to Minimize the Dangers on Rural Roads?
Whether the risks on rural roads are traced back to driver behavior or environmental factors, there are steps drivers can take to stay safe. The first step is to obey laws no matter if driving in an urban or rural setting. Speed limits, blood alcohol limits, seatbelts, and stop signs are designed to make travel safe, but they only work when all drivers adhere to the laws. Beyond following preexisting laws, it is important to be more cautious in areas with low visibility, more animals, and higher volume of slow moving vehicles such as farm machinery.7
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed while driving on a rural road it is important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced auto accident attorney. The risks posed by dangerous rural roadways can be traced back to several different liable parties. Whether an accident occurs due to a negligent or distracted driver or a poorly maintained roadway, establishing liability is one of the first step towards seeking fair compensation for victims of rural roadway accidents. An experienced car accident attorney can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your legal rights and interests. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.
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