Rural areas account for more than 50% of all traffic fatalities annually. Here are six of the most common causes of these accidents.
Many believe driving on rural roads is much safer than driving on city streets. After all, there’s generally less traffic and, therefore, seemingly fewer opportunities for accidents. However, car accidents are also a common occurrence on rural roads. In fact, they account for more than 50% of all traffic fatalities each year. Here are six of the most common causes of car accidents in rural areas.
Poorly Maintained Roads
One of the biggest dangers on rural roads is the condition of the roads themselves. Unlike major highways, which are regularly maintained by state and federal agencies, many rural roads are in poor condition, with potholes, cracks, and other hazards. In addition, rural roads are often narrower than urban streets, making it more difficult to avoid hazards.
Another hazard that’s unique to rural roads is the possibility of encountering animals crossing the road. While you might see the occasional squirrel or cat in the city, on rural roads, you’re much more likely to encounter deer, coyotes, and other wildlife. And while these animals are usually harmless, if they dart out into the road, animals can cause serious accidents.
Due to the lack of traffic, many drivers feel comfortable speeding on rural roads. After all, there’s no one around to enforce the speed limit. However, speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and it’s often more dangerous on rural roads due to the poor road conditions, narrow lanes, and sharp turns.
Poorly Lit Roads
Poorly lit roads are another primary reason why rural roads are so dangerous. Without adequate lighting, drivers have difficulty seeing potential hazards, such as potholes, animals, and debris. Furthermore, on dark nights, it can be difficult to tell where the road ends, and the shoulder begins, making it easy to veer off course.
From flash floods to ice and snow, rural roads can be subject to unpredictable weather conditions. Because these conditions are often unexpected, drivers may not be prepared to deal with them. This can lead to weather related accidents, especially if drivers are caught off guard by sudden changes in weather or road conditions.
Just like urban drivers, rural drivers are also susceptible to distracted driving. Whether they’re talking on the phone, text messaging, or adjusting the radio, any distraction can take a driver’s attention away from the road. Add this to the scenery and wildlife, and it’s easy to see how accidents can happen.
St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
These are just some of the dangers that drivers face on rural roads. If you find yourself involved an accident, our St. Louis car accident lawyers are here to help. At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. we have 25 years of experience and a proven track record of obtaining compensation for accident victims.
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