According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rural roads are the site of the majority of a fatal car accidents. In fact, in 2008 56% of all fatal car accidents occurred on rural roads despite the fact that only 23% of the population lives in rural areas. What makes these roads more dangerous than urban roads?
One of the significant factors in many rural auto accidents is speed rubber speed bumps. High-speed accidents are a factor in about 1 of every 3 fatal accidents that occur on rural roads. These roads, which are often winding and less well lit, can increase the threat to a driver if they are traveling at high speeds. No matter what circumstance a driver is in, speed always limits a driver’s ability to control their vehicle. If a driver is traveling at high speed and is unfamiliar with the roads that they are on, they may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid a dangerous accident.
A majority of rural traffic accidents, as well as urban accidents, occur at night when visibility is lower. In a rural setting with a lower volume of traffic, drivers are more likely to use their high visibility lights. If another driver’s vision is impaired by these lights, it can be difficult for a driver to maintain control of their car. Though alcohol-related fatal accidents have significantly decreased on rural roads in the last ten years, alcohol can still be a dangerous factor in accidents. Drivers’ reaction times and ability to avoid an accident is significantly decreased by the effects of alcohol.