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Rural Roads Are More Dangerous Than People May Think

Most people probably believe that they are more likely to get in an accident on a congested urban road or highway rather than on a rural one. However, the opposite is true. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more fatalities on rural roads than urban ones in 2013. Consider the following findings:

  • 15,998 (53 percent) of fatal accidents occurred on rural roads.
  • 14,026 (47 percent) of fatalities occurred on urban roads.
  • Although an estimated 19 percent of Americans live in rural areas, rural fatalities accounted for almost 54 percent of fatal accidents in 2013.

Six Causes of Accidents on Rural Roads

There are a number of reasons—both environmental and behavioral—that increase the risk of a crash occurring on a rural road. Common causes of these accidents include:

  • Roads. Rural roads tend to be narrow, two-lane roadways, which can also be winding and hilly in some areas. Drivers can have a limited view of what is ahead and little room to get out of the way of a hazardous condition.
  • Speed. Drivers are more likely to speed on less-traveled rural roads. Unfortunately, they have little time to slow down—especially on hilly, winding roads or on curves—and lose control of their vehicles with deadly results.
  • Alcohol. Over 50 percent of the fatalities on rural roads involve an intoxicated driver.
  • Seat belts. Many occupants of vehicles driven on rural roads do not wear their seat belts, causing them to suffer much more debilitating injuries and deaths. In 2013, 51 percent of passenger vehicle occupants and 64 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed failed to wear a seat belt.
  • Complacency. Many drivers are lulled by the mistaken impression that rural roads are safer because there are fewer vehicles and engage in less safe driving practices that cause crashes.
  • Animals. Wild animals are more likely to dart onto a less-traveled rural road than in an urban setting, giving an unsuspecting driver little time to react.

If an accident does occur, medical help can take longer to get to the victims on rural roadways, and the smaller hospitals in rural communities may be less equipped to handle serious trauma injuries.

If you were injured in an accident on a rural road caused by another driver, you need to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to not miss the deadline to file a lawsuit. Fill out an online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how I can assist you in getting the compensation you’re entitled to.