Every driver is at some risk of getting into an accident, which is why we take precautions like wearing our seat belts and obeying speed limits. However, there are some risk factors you may not know about or be able to avoid.
For instance, did you know that rural roads can be deadlier than city streets?
There are several reasons why rural roads can pose a higher threat to motorists.
- People can be driving faster. Per statistics by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 11,000 people killed in accidents on rural roads were traveling at least 55 miles per hour. When cars are moving this fast and crash, the outcome can be far more catastrophic than when cars collide at slower speeds.
- Drivers let down their guards. Rural roads typically have much less traffic at any given time. There may only be two lanes and few – if any – traffic signals. Because of all these factors, it can be easy to let your guard down. Drivers might be more inclined to use their cell phones, or they might get bored and start feeling tired, which can dramatically increase their risk of crashing.
- Visibility can be poor. Rural roads may not have the lighting and reflective signs that city streets have, presenting visibility concerns when the weather is bad or when it is very dark or foggy.
- Animals can surprise motorists. Depending on where you live, deer, rabbits or raccoons could easily wander onto desolate rural roads. Seeing an animal on the road could surprise drivers and make them serve or slam on their brakes, which can result in an accident.
- Intersections often do not have signals. Rural intersections may rarely see any type of backup. However, they present a hazard when multiple cars approach an uncontrolled intersection, and no one slows down or yields the right of way.
Whether you live in a rural area or drive through one, understanding these risks can be crucial in helping you protect yourself and avoiding a devastating car accident.