Urban areas are noisy, hectic, and packed with traffic. Typical driving speeds can vary from 10 mph on inner city streets to 65 mph on nearby interstate highways. Rural areas on the other hand, are uncrowded, quiet, and scenic. It is quite understandable that most people would think that a Sunday drive through the countryside is a safe way to de-stress. However, doing this places the driver at a higher risk of dying in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more fatalities occur per mile driven on rural roads than on urban roads.
Why are rural roads so deadly? Here are five reasons for this:
- The roads often have a poor layout and design. Many rural roads are narrow with blind curves and small shoulders. Stop signs are placed in areas with extreme road grades that make stopping difficult. Running off a rural road can mean colliding with trees or going down embankments.
- Motorists drive too fast. The open space, low traffic density, and the perception of a lack of law enforcement gives the driver a false sense of security. This makes them more inclined to drive too fast on roads that are not well designed for high speeds.
- Animal crossings are common. Rural areas often have large populations of deer and other wildlife. This increases the risk of collision with them while crossing the road, particularly at night. Motorists also overcompensate when encountering wildlife and may drive off the road or into another vehicle.
- Lighting is poor. Rural roads lack the ambient lighting of well-lit urban streets. Lining roads that cover great distances with street lamps is not cost-effective and there are too few houses and buildings to provide background lighting. This makes it difficult to spot obstructions, animals, and pedestrians at night.
- Motorists do not wear seat belts. The low traffic levels of rural roads lead many to believe that the driving is safe. This misperception causes motorists to forgo the use of seat belts.
In addition to the above reasons, when rural accidents injure people, the long distances mean that help will take longer to arrive. This fact increases accident fatality rates and the consequences of non-fatal injuries. If you or someone close to you were injured on a rural road because of the actions of another motorist, get the help of experienced Chattanooga car accident attorneys who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at McMahan Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.