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Reasons Why Rural Car Accidents Can Be So Deadly

Posted on February 9, 2022

Car Accident Lawyer

A recent report funded by State Farm and released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) highlights the fact that while only 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, these rural areas account for about half of all fatal crashes. We’ll explore details from and outside this report to explore why rural car accidents can be so deadly compared to ones that occur in urban areas. 

Roadway Infrastructure 

Roadway infrastructure in rural areas is often simpler. Unfortunately, this infrastructure is often less maintained than its urban counterparts. Problems like numerous potholes, crumbling roads, improperly marked roads, etc., can all quickly lead to an accident. While it’s the government’s role to take care of these roads, fewer resources often get allocated to rural areas. Furthermore, these roads can be smaller and harder to navigate, especially for semi-trucks or similarly sized vehicles. 

Fewer Emergency Services 

It’s not uncommon for a rural area to only have one or two medical facilities around. Sometimes, a town may not even have a medical facility and must rush a victim off to the nearest town. Alternatively, more densely packed communities can have several hospitals within reach. Depending upon a victim’s condition, even a ten-minute drive in an ambulance can result in serious harm. 

Other Lack of Emergency Services 

It’s best to never drive during a winter storm. Furthermore, it helps to avoid the roads the next day until you know for a fact that they’re safe to drive. Memphis residents are used to a storm happening one day and then clearing up the next by late afternoon at the latest. Part of this is due to the weather naturally melting the snow, but workers appropriately clearing the roads also play a factor. Rural areas don’t always have this privilege, and while workers may clear the main roads, it can take days before those less traveled roads to get cleared. 

Lack of Visibility 

One thing people love when they visit rural areas is seeing numerous stars in the sky at night. In the city, this is nearly impossible in most areas, and you may only see the moon and a few bright stars. However, the drawback of rural areas’ natural darkness becomes apparent when driving on its roads. While some roads have appropriate lighting, the further you get out, the more you’ll need to rely on your car’s headlights. This reduced visibility can cause car accidents to occur. 

Rural Driving Culture

Of course, it’s important to note that rural driving culture can simply be different than when driving in urban areas. For starters, you’ll need to keep your eyes on critters roaming the roads, including deer and livestock—something that’s hardly ever an issue in urban areas. Drivers are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors like not wearing a seatbelt, not coming to a complete stop, or speeding in certain areas. Of course, such behaviors are still illegal no matter where they happen and may require a call from a car accident lawyer—something our friends at Patterson Bray PLLC agree with. 

Az: 480.418.9100
MO: 314.387.5900
AZ: 480.418.9100
MO: 314.387.5900