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Dangers on Urban & Rural Roads - St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys

by Christopher Hoffmann on Apr. 07, 2017

Accident & Injury Car Accident Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rural roads are more dangerous than urban roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rural roads are more dangerous than urban roads.


While this information may seem to be surprising to many, the fact of the matter is that country roads have proven to be twice as dangerous than suburban and urban roadways and highways. In this post, our St. Louis car wreck lawyer will highlight some key facts in this regard.

According to available statistics, despite lesser traffic and fewer on-road distractions, as much as 55 percent of all on-road fatalities caused by vehicle accidents occur on rural roads. The numbers are more disturbing considering that less than 20% of the US population resides in rural areas. Comparing the rural and urban fatality rate data per mile driven, rural roads have a fatality rate that is about 2.4 times higher than urban roads.

Why are rural roads more dangerous?

While more traffic congestion, more distractions and higher speeds are top factors that make urban roads dangerous, the following factors also make them more dangerous.

  • Lack of proper signage

  • Narrow roads and blind curves

  • No signage on farm and field entrances and driveways

  • Inaccurate maps and inadequate GPS information

  • No guard rails and lack of shoulders and ditches

  • Uneven, rough roads, loose gravel and un-compacted roads

  • Damaged roads

  • Steep hills and sharp bends

  • Other obstacles like animals, slow traffic, huge farm vehicles, debris, farm equipment, etc.

  • Lack of dividers on roads causing head –on collisions

  • Drivers inexperienced in maneuvering domestic or wild animals crossing roads

  • Perception of drivers that rural roads are more safe

  • Distraction caused by scenic rural surrounding

  • Lack of speed monitoring on the part of urban drivers

  • Inability of urban drivers to wear seat belts while driving on rural roads, assuming that they are safer.

The list is quite exhaustive. However, there are three other issues that make rural roads less safe.

  1. Highway hypnosis – Highway hypnosis is a term coined for a phenomenon where drivers can get drowsy, or enter in ‘trance-like state’ due to a vast country landscape that makes the area appear the same and continuous. This trance-like state can cause drivers to have a lesser reaction time, be prone to drive faster, or even cause the driver to fall asleep while driving.

  2. Longer wait for emergency assistance – In rural areas, the waiting for emergency services to arrive at the scene of accident. This results in a delay in getting emergency medical treatment to accident victims. Moreover, trauma centers in rural areas often face a lack of staff or lack of trained staff to handle complicated car accident injuries.

  3. Accidents can go unnoticed – Often single vehicle crashes go unnoticed for long periods of time.

Driver should understand that driving is dangerous, whether it is on a rural road or on urban roads, and requires constant vigilance. All drivers should exercise caution and ensure that they drive safely and responsibly on the roads. Moreover, they should pay more attention while driving on unknown roads.

Those who have been victims of car accidents on rural roads, should consult a St. Louis accident lawyer to ensure their legal rights are protected. Call (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.

The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

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