You are probably aware of the dangers presented when driving on urban roads. There are a multitude of opportunities for accidents. Collisions are a way of life for city dwellers. In fact, it is true that you are more likely to find yourself in a traffic accident when driving on a city street. So, of course, it is wise to drive carefully in the city, being extra vigilant about safety.
Nevertheless, many people fail to realize that you actually have a greater chance of being involved in a traffic fatality in rural areas. One common cause of rural road deaths is a lack of awareness. People are less careful on country roads, believing them safe, when the opposite is true.
Just how dangerous are rural roads?
Rural roads present dangers to drivers and passengers across the country. The numbers do not lie. Only about 24 percent of the American population lives in rural areas. So, how many traffic fatalities occur in these less occupied spaces? Well over 56 percent of the national total is the astounding answer.
Just consider this additional information. You, your neighbors and your colleagues travel back-and-forth to jobs, schools and homes each day. City life requires such constant motion. Yet, despite traveling less on a regular basis, rural Americans suffer 2.5 percent more fatalities per mile. Now that is surely a sobering fact.
Last, but not least, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics confirming that 60 percent of all highway fatalities occur in rural spaces. Yes, you are in much more danger of dying when on a lonely country road than on a busy city street.
Why are rural roads more dangerous than city ones?
There are various reasons why you are in more danger when driving out in the country. Foremost, is the misleading nature of rural roads. They appear picturesque. You may be lulled into a sense of complacency. You cannot believe that you are in any danger while driving through such beautiful land.
Then suddenly, a bend in the road catches you unaware. This scenario happens all the time, necessitating many drivers to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible.
It also common for people to speed on rural roads. You can be led to think that the remoteness of the area means less chance of getting snared by the police for speeding. Others take the same attitude, putting all in the vicinity in increased danger.
You might also want to relax and undo your seatbelt. Drivers often do so on country roads. You munch on some chips, listen to the nice tunes on the radio and forget all about paying attention to the road. Then, when an accident occurs, you suffer serious physical injuries. The seat belt could have helped prevent some of the resulting damage.
Animals are another source of danger on rural roads. Wild animals dash into roads all the time, causing drivers to veer. Though it is virtually impossible to keep animals out of the road, you must remain cognizant of the need not to overcompensate when trying to avoid hitting them.
How to stay safe on rural roads?
Here are a few precautions to take in order to remain as safe as you can when driving in rural areas.
First, always obey the traffic laws. The authorities have your best interests at heart. The rules seek to keep you and others safe. Do not fall victim to the belief that just because you are in the country, it is fine to disregard the rules of the road. As shown here, it is wise for you to increase the level of traffic safety when in these areas.
Other rural driving precautions include:
- Look for road signs designating likely incoming machine traffic (such as tractors)
- Pay extra attention in low visibility areas
- Watch for animals
- Wear your seat belt
If you have been involved in a rural traffic accident, it is best to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Doing so is extremely important if another driver has been negligent. All motorists have a duty to keep themselves and others safe on the road. If another driver has breached this duty, then a personal injury lawsuit could be the next step. Get compassionate legal advice early to help increase the chances of receiving justice.
Special thanks to our friend Aaron Cantor, of Cantor Crane, Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, Cantor Law Group, for providing some insight into rural auto accident practice in Phoenix, Arizona.