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The Deadly Nature of Rural Roads

November 21, 2015

Traveling through back roads is not the safest way to travel, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2011, there were over 29,000 fatal crashes, resulting in 32,367 fatalities. Rural road accidents accounted for 54 percent of fatal crashes, or 16,053 deaths, and 55 percent of fatalities, as compared to urban areas that accounted for 45 percent of fatalities. In some states, more than 90 percent of highway deaths occurred on rural roads. According to these statistics, drivers on rural roads are 2.5 times more likely to die in an accident per mile traveled than urban drivers. In fact, urban drivers will drive twice as many miles, but experience close to half the fatalities.

Speed, Seat Belt Use, and Scarce Emergency Assistance Play a Role in the High Rate of Rural Road Fatalities

For many, it seems counterintuitive that open country roads are actually more dangerous than clogged urban roads. However, there are several factors that contribute to and explain the high rate of rural road fatalities. For starters, those traveling on rural roads tend to drive at higher rates of speed. More drivers traveling on rural roads forgo their seat belts, making what could have been just minor injuries rise to the level of fatalities. Statistically, drivers are more likely to drive while intoxicated on rural roads. When they are involved in a crash, they might not have access to swift, quality emergency medical care due to the remoteness of some rural areas. Additionally, rural road travelers are far more likely to be in an accident due to wildlife, especially deer, darting into the road.

An additional and critical factor is the design of many rural roads. Rural road designs are often outdated and their layouts contribute to fatalities. On rural roads, there is little room for error. The lanes are narrow and roads are surrounded by trees and ditches in such a way that a minor mistake can result in a deadly crash.

Several rural roads across America have become notorious for their high risk of accidents. The most dangerous rural road is said to be U.S. 6. This road runs through Utah and more than 150 have died on it. It has just two lanes with narrow shoulders and no dividers, but is heavily traveled. Though many are lobbying for improvements to be made, the road remains dangerous.

Georgia is home to a number of rural roadways. When traveling on rural Georgia roads, be sure to stay within the speed limit and decrease your speed during nighttime hours or poor weather. Pay close attention to the road and, of course, never text and drive or drive while intoxicated.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Experienced Georgia Auto Accident Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or other traffic accident, contact the Georgia Auto Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our law firm is dedicated to assisting injured accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. We bring over 39 years of experience and dedication to your automobile accident case. The sooner you act after your injury, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.



Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.