Imagine driving through the countryside with nothing to see except agricultural fields and the occasional cow. Now picture driving through rush-hour traffic with honking horns, high speeds, and constant movement from all directions. You may think you’d be more likely to end up in an accident in the urban setting; however, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us otherwise.
According to the NHTSA’s 2016 Rural/Urban Comparison of Traffic Fatalities, there were a total of 34,439 fatal vehicle accidents resulting in 37,461 deaths. Of these accidents, 50 percent occurred in rural areas and 47 percent occurs in urban areas. Three percent of the accidents occurred in areas where not enough information was available to determine if the crashes were inside urban or rural boundaries.
As you can see, these percentages are fairly close; however, this was not always the case. Just in 2012, rural accidents accounted for 54 percent of that year’s accidents, while urban accidents only accounted for 46 percent. While gap may be closing, it’s important to understand why accidents are more likely to happen in rural areas.
Contributing Factors of Rural Car Accidents
Alcohol. A motorist is considered alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration is at or above 0.08 grams per deciliter. In rural accidents involving fatalities, 37 percent were found to be driving under the influence. Driving under the influence in rural areas often happens because of the lack of public transportation.
Restraint Use. Rural occupants have a lower seat belt usage rate than urban occupants. Because of this, nearly 50 percent of rural car accident victims were found unrestrained. Nearly 62 percent of rural pickup truck occupants killed were also found to be without their seatbelt.
Speeding. Of all the traffic fatalities in 2016, 27 percent were killed in speed-related accidents. Of the 18,590 rural traffic fatalities, 5,030 were killed as a result of speeding. Speeding in rural areas especially an issue when you take into considerations the winding roads and blind intersections.
Time of Day. Of the rural traffic-related deaths in 2016, 54 percent occurred during the day, 45 percent occurred at night, and the remaining 1 percent is unknown.
Regardless of where your car accident took place, if you’ve been the victim of another’s driver’s negligence, legal help can get you the compensation and justice you deserve. If you live in Lexington or the surrounding communities in Fayette Country, contact us today for a free review of your claim.