Rural Roads Are Often the Site of Fatal Accidents

Home » Rural Roads Are Often the Site of Fatal Accidents
January 31, 2019
Edward Smith

Rural Roads Are Often the Site of Fatal Accidents

Rural roads often seem tranquil, and many people enjoy driving along to visit small towns, friends or just to enjoy the scenery. However, these types of roads have a much higher rate of fatalities compared to urban areas when you compare their populations. There are a number of factors that increase the risk of a fatality when driving in a rural area, including unforeseen hazards. If you lost a loved one in a rural road accident, an experienced lawyer may be able to help the remaining family members obtain fair compensation for that loss. Although this will not lessen your grief, it will help with financial difficulties the family may face.

Are Rural Roads Really Dangerous?

When one compares the number of fatalities on rural roads to urban areas, they are certainly more dangerous. According to the Pew Research Center, between 2012 and 2016, only 14 percent of the population lived in rural areas. The majority (55 percent) lived in suburban locations, while 31 percent lived in urban areas. Even though suburban drivers travel a longer distance each day than rural residents, the country drivers experienced a 2.5 percent higher death rate in traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that six out of every 10 fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents occurred on country roads.

Driver Negligence on Rural Roads

The picturesque beauty of a rural road can be enticing. However, drivers do not always exhibit the same driving behaviors on country roads as they do when traveling in the city. One reason is that a police presence may not be as apparent, so drivers take more risks when operating a motor vehicle. Some of the reasons accident fatalities are more likely to occur along rural roads include:

  • The driver may be unfamiliar with the road, and the lack of the accustomed, heavy traffic found in the city may encourage risk-taking such as running a stop sign.
  • A motorist may be more tempted to speed because of the lighter traffic and lack of police.
  • Drunk drivers are common on rural roads as well as elsewhere. However, a drunk or drugged driver on a rural road is less likely to be pulled over by the police before an accident happens.
  • Drivers and their passengers are less likely to be wearing seat belts along rural roads.
  • A wild animal or livestock may be on the roadway. A driver, trying to miss striking the animal, may overcorrect, causing a collision.
  • Vehicles turning onto the road from private residences such as farms and ranches may be unexpected and get struck by an oncoming vehicle.
  • Road signs may be unclear or missing.
  • Rural roads may be poorly maintained, lacking sufficient shoulders or containing large cracks, eroded edges, and potholes. This type of damage can cause a rollover or other type of collision.
  • Country roads often don’t have guardrails and center divides, which can lessen the seriousness of a collision.
  • Emergency medical responders and ambulances have a longer response time to rural locations. This can increase the risk of fatalities.

Seeking Compensation for a Wrongful Death

Those who lose a loved one because of a wrongful death accident may claim the lost income the decedent provided. Other damages include funeral and burial expenses, the loss of love, affection, guidance to the family members and other expenses. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can explain what the family’s options are to recover these financial damages and assist by preparing a claim.

Citrus Heights Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Citrus Heights wrongful death lawyer. Losing a loved one is a tragic experience that is only heightened when the death was preventable. If your loved one died because of a negligent driver or government entity, I would like to offer you compassionate, free and friendly advice. You can reach me at (916) 921-6400 in the Citrus Heights area or (800) 404-5400 elsewhere in Northern California. Also, a “contact us” form is available on my website,

The National Association of Distinguished Counsel invites only those lawyers who exhibit legal excellence, while Million Dollar Advocates is an organization for trial attorneys who have settled and won more than $1 million for a client. I am a proud member of both of these groups.

It is important for those seeking legal advice to learn something about a law firm before calling. You are welcome to visit the following sites to learn about some of the cases we have handled and read our client reviews:

I’m honored to have handled many cases of traumas such as brain injuries, all types of motor vehicle accidents and truck collisions over my more than 37 years as an injury lawyer.

Photo Attribution:

:cd llo [cs 801] cv