While you would not think so, studies show that country roads are actually less safe than city roads when it comes to fatal car accidents. The following five factors may be the reasons why traffic related deaths are higher in rural areas than in urban settings in the United States:
- Drowsy driving: The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation estimates that 21% of fatal traffic accidents involve a driver who is fatigued. Drowsy drivers are considered as dangerous as a person who is behind the wheel while being intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. Studies show that rural roads lend themselves to exhausted drivers who stay behind the wheel for longer hours at a time in an attempt to get to their destinations;
- Speeding drivers: The posted speed limit on rural roads are higher than those posted in the city. In fact, rural highways in Nevada have some of the highest speed limits in the nation, topping at 70 to 80 MPH. As a result, a crash at this speed is much more likely to end in death than a crash at 40 or 50 MPH. Most country road crashes do not happen on main highway arteries, however, but rather on collector and local roads where drivers who exit do so at higher speed;
- Less police presence: It is likely that drivers on rural roads are less likely to obey posted speed limits because there is less police and sheriff presence. Many drivers are under the impression that speeding on a backcountry road is less likely to result in a speeding ticket or traffic violation. Drivers on country roads also justify speeding by the low population density and low traffic–with the assumption that they are not putting others at risk for their driving behaviors;
- Dangerous road conditions: You will not see a deer jumping in front of your car, or road disrepair, rock falls, wandering livestock, or other similar scenes, when you are driving through the city. Moreover, rural roads are often winding roads, little to no shoulders on the side of the road, and include quick inclines and declines. When you combine the curvy roads, high speed travel, driver fatigue, elevation changes, and little to no barriers serious accidents are bound to occur;
- Intoxicated driving and no alternative: Rural areas experience a much bigger problem of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol than urban areas. This is in part because of the lack of public transportation or ridesharing services in the countryside.
While our nation’s roads are some of the safest in the world, it is important to understand the risks that may come with driving in the city or country in America.
If you have suffered an injury in Nevada, contact H&P Law today. Our attorneys will fight for your rights and seek the best monetary compensation available under the facts of your case and applicable law. We have experienced success inside and out of the courtroom. Contact us today.