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Danger of Driving on Country Roads

by Fidel Rodriguez, Jr.

Jennifer Jo Nickels, of Groesbeck, Texas, died recently when the car she was driving collided with a tractor on a rural road outside of Bremond, Texas in Robertson County. Texas State Troopers reported that the incident occurred at approximately 8 a.m. and the Department of Public Safety estimates that poor visibility due to the morning sun may have caused the incident. State police reports that Nickels was not wearing a seat belt.

Rural roads present more than double the danger

A study published by the Annals of Emergency Medicine reveal that car crashescause more than two and a half times as many deaths in rural areas than in urban settings. Similarly, according to 2010 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fatality rate per 100 million milestraveled was more than double in rural areas than in urban areas. The University of California at Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center reported that in 2001 rural roads accounted for only 39 percent of vehicle miles traveled, but 61 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Why are rural roads more deadly?

The reasons for the increased danger of rural over urban roads are in part due to the following:

  • Speeding - 32 percent of the fatalities on rural roads involved speedingcompared to 31 percent in urban areas
  • Alcohol- Of the 10,228 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, rural areas accounted for 55 percent of the deaths as compared to 44 percent in urban settings
  • Seat belts- Of the 22,187 deaths automobile passengers killed in 2010, 53 percent of the passengers killed in rural areas were not using seat belts as compared to 48 percent in urban areas
  • Access to trauma centers - Dr. Sage Myers, who authored the study on the risk of country life for the Annals of Emergency Medicine, reports that the results may reflect the reduced access to emergency treatmentbecause most trauma centers are located near large cities

If you have been injured on a country road, contact an aggressive San Antonio car accident attorney to get you the compensation you deserve.

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