Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

4 reasons rural areas pose a risk to drivers

Motor vehicle accidents can take place anywhere, but one of the riskiest locations is in rural areas. While most people believe that cities and towns are the most dangerous, rural areas have their own challenges that make it more likely to see people getting into crashes.

Although there may be more deaths and injuries overall in areas where there is heavier traffic, rural areas have the highest rate of deaths in collisions. Here are a few reasons why they're so dangerous.

1. The roads aren't marked well

Some rural roads aren't marked as well as they should be. Rural areas may not have as much funding, and, since the roads aren't traveled as often, may not be a priority for repairs. Potholes, missing lane markers and even missing signs are common in rural areas.

2. Speeds are high but the quality of roads is low

Rural areas tend to have higher speed limits, since there are few homes around. However, that has a downside. If you're traveling at 55 mph on a highway, you can clearly see other vehicles and usually travel in a straight line. In rural areas, that fast 55 mph rate of speed might be on dirt roads, gravel roads or on lanes that regularly curve or bend. This all poses a threat to people driving in the area.

3. Lower seat belt use is common in rural areas

When you don't see as many vehicles, you don't need a seat belt, right? Well, that's not true, and it could be a reason why there are a higher number of deaths in rural collisions.

4. Emergency care takes longer to arrive

Finally, the fact that your crash is in a rural area poses the risk that you'll have to wait longer for emergency care. If the hospital closest to you is 15 minutes away compared to five in the city, you're going to wait longer to get the help you need. The difference in response times can be the sole reason for some people living while others don't.

These are a few reasons why rural areas are more dangerous than busier urban areas. If you're planning to drive in a rural area, keep your seat belt on, slow down if you're unfamiliar with the roads and remember to stay focused and on the lookout for dangers like potholes, animals and other drivers in narrow lanes. With the right precautions, you can prevent a collision.

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