Whenever a catastrophic auto accident occurs, it’s important to consider speaking with an attorney. Negligence or recklessness may have plays a role in the crash occurring, meaning that you may have legal options to seek damages. The Daytona Beach, FL auto collision attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau have helped countless people hold reckless drivers and even auto companies accountable for their negligent actions.
There are specific dangers when car accidents occur on rural roads or remote roadways. Our legal team would like to cover some of the basics of these kinds of crashes below.
Statistics on Rural Road Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 34,439 fatal auto accidents resulting in 37,461 fatalities in 2016. Of those fatal crashes, 16,736 (48 percent) occurred in rural areas, 16,558 (48 percent) occurred in urban areas, and 1,145 (3 percent) that occurred in unknown or unspecified areas.
In the state of Florida specifically, the Federal Highway Administration recorded 3,174 vehicle crash deaths. Of that Florida fatality number, 1,388 fatal vehicle crash deaths (44 percent) occurred on rural roads.
Dangers of Remote Locations
Rural and remote roads pose a number of dangers to motorists. Some common issues include:
- Reckless Behaviors from Other Motorists - With less law enforcement dedicated to patrolling rural areas, there is a greater risk of reckless driving behaviors on rural roads.
- Poor Visibility and Lighting - On rural roads, there are often issues with poor visibility and bad lighting. This may be the result of fog or a lack of streetlights along the roadway, for example.
- Lack of Cellphone Service - If you are involved in a crash, using your cellphone to call emergency crews is essential. A lack of cellphone service in rural areas could make these life-or-death calls difficult to make.
- Long Emergency Response Times - Even if you manage to contact emergency responders, it can take ambulances a long time to reach the crash since rural areas are not near major population centers.
Potential Causes of Rural Road Crashes
There are many possible causes of accidents on rural roads. Some common causes of collisions include:
- Speeding - Speeding on rural roads is one of many reckless behaviors. The NHTSA found that 27 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016 were linked to speeding.
- Drunk Driving - Driving drunk results in poor decision making and impaired coordination and reflexes. The risk of drunk drivers may be high on rural roads given a lack of law enforcement to stop intoxicated drivers.
- Debris in the Road - Road crews are not regularly clearing rural roadways from debris. Discarded tires, animals in the road, or other kinds of objects could create hazardous obstacles for drivers.
- Vehicle Problems - Tire blowouts and other automobile malfunctions could result in crashes on rural roadways.
- Poor Weather - When it’s raining or foggy, the road is going to be slick and more dangerous. That’s why greater caution behind the wheel is needed during poor weather.
- Bad Road Conditions - Poor road maintenance can lead to dangerous driving conditions. This could mean potholes in the road or a total lack of lighting at night.
Who Is Liable in Rural Road Accidents?
Determining liability in a rural road accident depends on the nature of your crash. Sometimes a reckless motorist is liable for the crash, while other times road authorities might be partially responsible. Our lawyers will assess your accident and help build a strong legal case.
Learn More About Auto Accident Litigation
For more information about your legal rights and options, be sure to contact our team of auto accident lawyers. The attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau are here to help. You can reach us in Daytona Beach at (866) 610-0653 and in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760.