You probably feel fairly safe when you drive on a rural road. Traffic levels tend to be light, so it feels like your odds of getting in an accident are minimal. Plus, these roads tend to be very straightforward, without the complexities of traffic control devices and multilane roads that you would find in the city.
However, the statistics show that this sense of safety is an illusion. In actuality, despite the fact that there are far more people in the city and much more driving happens in urban areas, roughly the same number of fatal accidents happen on city streets and rural roads. This means that rural roads actually experience a higher fatal accident rate when calculated based on the number of miles driven, making them more dangerous overall. Why is this?
The distance to the hospital
To begin with, where you get in an accident determines how quickly you can get medical care. With some injuries, for instance, getting care in the first 15 minutes could save a life. In the city, people are usually relatively close to a hospital, so they can be cared for right away. In a rural area, it could be 15 minutes before anyone even knows that the accident has occurred, let alone responds and transfers an injury victim to a medical center.
Dangerous driving behaviors
There’s some evidence that certain risky driving behaviors are more common on rural roads. Examples include a less frequent rate seatbelt use or a propensity for speeding. Impaired driving can also be an issue. All of these influences can cause accidents or render the harm caused by a crash worse than it would have been otherwise.
Higher speed limits
On top of all of this, even if a driver isn’t speeding, simply driving on a rural road likely means that a vehicle is moving at a faster rate. Speed limits are often twice as high on these roads, and accidents at higher speed limits are more likely to be deadly. A driver doesn’t even have to be exceeding a posted speed limit to endure a higher risk of experiencing severe injuries.
Have you suffered serious injuries in a crash, or has a loved one passed away due to injuries sustained in a crash on a rural road? If you believe that this happened due to someone else’s negligence and the mistakes they made behind the wheel, you’ll want to connect with a legal professional who can explain how to seek financial compensation.