Studies have found that rural roads are disproportionately dangerous to drivers. They lead to fatal car accidents at a higher rate than city streets. This doesn’t mean there are more fatal accidents that occur in rural areas overall, but simply that rural accidents happen at a greater rate – when considering accidents per miles driven – since there are far fewer vehicles on these roads.
Many people are surprised to hear this. Rural roads tend to feel a bit safer and less confusing. Below are three reasons why they are actually more dangerous.
Hospitals are farther away
If someone gets into an accident in the city, a hospital may only be a few minutes away from the accident scene. They can get help very quickly, which may save their life if they’re dealing with something like excessive bleeding that needs to be treated quickly. But a hospital could be 30 minutes away from a rural accident, which is simply too long for medical crews to respond in time, even if they leave immediately.
Speed limits are higher
Speed limits also play a role. Drivers don’t have to break the speed limit to influence the odds of a fatal accident. Simply driving at 55 miles an hour means that a fatality is more likely than if someone is driving at 25 miles an hour. Since rural roads have higher speed limits, the accidents that happen there tend to be more serious and more likely to be fatal.
Drivers make dangerous decisions
There is also evidence that drivers in rural areas make risky decisions. Reports cite things like higher rates of impaired driving or not using a seatbelt. Speeding is also an issue, even though speed limits are already higher. It’s not as if drinking or a lack of seatbelt use aren’t issues in the city, but they simply make fatalities more likely when combined with the other factors noted above.
Have you lost a loved one?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a tragic accident caused by another party on a rural road, you may be able to pursue financial compensation. This is also true if you have suffered serious injuries in such an accident. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to learn more.