If you get tense and nervous in city traffic, you’re definitely not alone. The sheer preponderance of vehicles, pedestrians and traffic signals can make any driver anxious. The more vehicles there are around you, the more conscious you may be about the possibility of a wreck.
In reality, you’re probably in bigger danger when you’re on a rural road, even when there’s barely another vehicle in sight.
Several factors make rural wrecks more dangerous
Only 19% of the U.S. population lives in what can be called rural areas – but almost 50% of fatal wrecks occur in those areas. What’s behind this phenomenon? There are several factors in play:
- Risky driving behaviors: The lack of traffic (and the relatively low likelihood of passing a police car) can turn some drivers into scofflaws who seem to have a need for speed. The faster vehicles are going when they crash, the worse the consequences.
- More head-on collisions: Head-on collisions are some of the most deadly, and rural roads can be narrow. Vehicles may end up crossing the yellow line at the wrong moment far too easily, leading to fatalities.
- Longer emergency response times: The fact that there are so few cars on the road means that it can take longer for an emergency response team to learn of the wreck and reach the site. That can cause delays in emergency treatment that can prove fatal.
- Limited access to medical facilities: Even big, advanced medical facilities can struggle to meet the needs of someone severely injured in a wreck, and rural hospitals often lack the advanced trauma teams and specialized equipment needed to handle a serious crash.
If you’ve been injured in a serious wreck or a loved one has been killed, find out more about your right to compensation. When the losses are severe, experienced legal guidance is wise.