Fatal car accidents happen every day. There are roughly 40,000 lives lost in the United States every year as a result of these wrecks. These accidents can happen in cities and in rural areas alike. There is nowhere that a person can drive where they can be assured that they will not be involved in an accident.
However, it is interesting to note that fatal accidents happen at a greater rate on rural roads than they do in cities. This reality has been uncovered by researchers who compared the number of fatal accidents to the number of miles driven. Far less driving happens on rural roads, but rural wrecks account for roughly half of all fatal accidents, meaning that the rate at which fatal rural accidents occur is much higher than the rate of urban accidents. This, in turn, means that rural roads are technically more dangerous for drivers. Why is this?
Higher speed limits
Crashes at a higher rate of speed are always going to be more likely to be fatal. Drivers on rural roads may often have speed limits set at 55 or 70 mph, whereas drivers on city streets may have speed limits set at 25 or 35 mph. Two accidents could be largely the same in re: how they occur, but the one that happens at a higher rate of speed is more likely to lead to a fatality.
More risky behaviors
Some reports also indicate that drivers in rural areas are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. An example of this is driving without a seatbelt on, which drastically increases the fatality odds in the event of an accident. Another example is impaired driving, which may happen more in areas where people have to drive to a bar instead of taking public transportation or a rideshare or travel a significant distance just to go to a friend’s house.
A longer commute to the hospital
Finally, after an accident has already taken place, a key component is how fast the injured person can get to a hospital. Many serious injuries can become fatal very quickly. In the city, emergency crews can often be on the scene in minutes and transporting a victim via ambulance almost immediately. On a rural road, the authorities may not even discover an accident for 15 or 20 minutes. There could be a significant delay in treatment that makes it more likely that a victim will pass away.
Have you lost a loved one as a result of a car accident? If you have, be sure that you and your family members know how to seek financial compensation from responsible parties. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial consequences of your loss if another party caused your family’s loss.